Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure during the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.
Jesus Christ came into this world not as a person of high status or of great wealth. Just a week ago, we remembered and celebrated His birth in a lowly manager surrounded by livestock. This passage in James reminds us that our worth does not come from our gold. James calls our attention to Jesus’ saying that where our treasure is, there our heart is also. It is easy to be tempted by the glitter of gold and the false promise of material gain, but Jesus’ life and ministry remind us that we are called to care for our neighbors. Jesus proclaimed good news to the poor and ministered to the outcast. As we enter into a new year, may we be mindful of our priorities and align our living with the life of Jesus.
Holy God, thank You for Your many blessings. We are grateful for the start of a new year and celebrate all the ways You have been with us in 2022. Guide us in the year ahead and help us to remember that our worth comes from You. Embolden us to be Your servants and to show Your love to others without reservation or judgement. Amen.