“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (James 4:1–2a)
We know fighting and quarreling all too well. In reading this passage from James, we recognize that conflict caused by sin isn’t a new problem. Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit brought quarreling and conflict into the human family and put humanity at conflict with all of creation. We can say confidently: Wherever two or more sinners are gathered, conflict will occur. So how are we to deal with conflict?
This year has introduced a lot of challenges and changes in government due to the current pandemic. It is also an election year, and people are focusing their attention on registering to vote and ensuring they get to the polls. The summer edition of Lutheran Life is all about balancing your faith with politics, understanding that you are a citizen of two kingdoms. Read an excerpt from the new edition below.
Ultimately, all of Christianity hinges on the truth of the resurrection. There is compelling evidence for the existence of a good God who has been made known to us in Jesus. But all of our faith—including Jesus proving He is indeed the Christ—is grounded in the truth of the resurrection. As the apostle Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). There is nothing to believe about Jesus if He did not rise from the dead. As we round out the reasons for the hope we have in Jesus, it’s most appropriate to examine the resurrection.
Note: this article was written for the fall edition of Lutheran Life. It was written before COVID-19 was a worry for the world. As we are now in this new time of social distancing, working from home, and canceled events, consider how you live out your vocations under your own roof.
As you consider your vocations, it’s appropriate to start with where you live—right in your very living room. Take a moment to consider whom you live with. Perhaps a spouse, child, parent, or friend. What are practical ways you can love and serve those under the same roof?
Vocational work at home means recognizing the role you play in your family unit. Your very presence in this home holds the potential for you to carry out the good works God has prepared for you to do right here.
A kindergartner works on an assignment entitled “What I want to be when I grow up.”
A recent graduate steps out on her own for the first time, wondering what’s next.
A new parent re-evaluates his employment situation.
A retiree explores how to spend her days.
Have you ever found yourself in situations like these, wondering what you should be doing or how you should be living? These kinds of questions can follow us throughout the various seasons of life. We pray, “God, what am I supposed to do here? Just tell me what to do and how to live.”