So what do you say… will you hand over that hamburger?
Let’s try this:
Mary--who you’ve never met--told me that if you gave me a hamburger today, she would pay you two dollars next Tuesday. Really.
Still ready to fork over that burger?
Let’s try one more. James told Stephen who told Jessica. The message was then passed on from Jessica to Aaron, Deidra, Joby, Siobhan, Tommy then John. John told Sue, and it was then passed on from Sue to Jerome, Latasha, Andy, Rachel, Eileen then Josh. Josh told Deepa who relayed the message to Ronnie, Vicki, PD, Lucy, Victor and Diego. Diego told Cho who shared the news with Ed, Jane, Hannah, Rickie, Sahid, Lou and Erin. Erin told Fred, and it went down the line to Xi, Sheila, Suti, Don, Ophelia, Juan, Kiki, Meaghan, Will, Tristan, Helen, Luana, Hal, Henry and Huck. Huck told Gigi, who then told Zoey, Didi, Barbara, Jake, Li, Ione, Chelsea, Karen, Stan, Ursula, Otto, Phil, Kevin, Regis, Debbie, Joy and Gil. Gil had a word with Yuri, who passed it on to Quinne, Jaque, Pablo, Juliette, Charles, Soo, Ni, Larry, Heidi, Jeff, Ahmal, Troy, Mary, Donna then Paul. And Paul passed it on to me. If you give me a hamburger today, that guy James would pay you next week. What do you say?
Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? A promise.
A promise from some guy you never met, passed on from generation to generation, told and retold by people you don’t know, people you have no reason to trust. But you do.
Except you’re not asked to fork over a hamburger. You need to give everything. Face trials of every kind. Be slow to anger. Hold your tongue. Don’t judge. Don’t boast. Be patient in the face of suffering.
The Book of James tells us to do this all. For a promise. From a guy you never met.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.