Today's Lectionary Text
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.
God’s tomorrow reminds us about our mortality and limitations in life. We always rejoice in a new day, new life, new year, and the list remains endless. We mostly think, plan, and wait for tomorrow with great expectations. We leave work undone awaiting to be completed tomorrow or in the near future. This is always inevitable to us all. The devotional scripture encourages us to live wisely under the power, will, and control of the immortal God.
Working on God’s tomorrow made me recap on my late daddy’s wise words about planning for tomorrow. My Dad sat in his chair one evening as we prepared for evening devotion. In his thick reverberating voice, he emphasized his words of wisdom saying, “Never, never, never leave God out of your life’s plans. Do everything well as if it is your last day to live. Learn as much as you desire, climb all life heights with all ambitions, and put God first in every aspect of your lives.” O these were great words of wisdom I cherish always.
Undeniably, God owns tomorrow. James invites his audience saying, “Come now you who say: "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain"; 14 whereas you do not know about tomorrow.” (James 4:13-14)
James understood how human we are and is not denying us opportunities to aspire or plan for the future. We are visionaries, great planners, and accomplishers of life goals through God’s grace. But we have to receive each day as a blessing. David induces to this notion when he said, “This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24). The man after God’s own heart understood the importance of taking one day at a time and living well with joy, hard work, peace forgiveness, and true worship. Each day calls for our enjoyment or delight as we await the unknown tomorrow. Some people live, preach, teach, work, love as if it is there last day on earth.
Honest business, hard work, earning a living and making a profit are all righteous acts. We are all wrapped in proposals, set aspirations, and visions. Karl Marx did not think so, but the Bible teaches it. (Habakkuk 2:2-3) 2Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
God is in control of all our visions and set aspirations. Our scriptural context through James urges us to grasp the mysteries of the hidden tomorrow. When 2020 started, the whole globe was thrilled as people buried 2019’s challenges and embraced the new decade joyfully. Little did we all know the hidden pandemic that has ravaged and traumatized nations. Well, we do not lose heart, we walk by faith and not by sight believing that God holds the best for our tomorrow.
James’s views link with Christians around the world. The church of Jesus Christ believes these words strongly, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that ... Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4: 15-17) God’s tomorrow is wrapped in his divine will. His will surpasses all our thoughts and desires. Scripture calls us to abide in God’s will always. The right thing to do is to constantly keep God's purposes and will in our hearts. Our lives belong to Him. We are here to serve and glorify Him.
-Rev. Ever Mudambanuki
United Church of Bennington & Solomon UMC
Prayer for Reflection
O God pardon us for our lack of wisdom in using the time you give us. We have taken each day for granted and boasted about tomorrow as if it belongs to us. We pray for your will to be done in each day we live and grace us more, Amen.
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