Picking up on page 45 of Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand:
“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” James 2: 1-5
When I was working in Cincinnati, a downtown church had a small sandwich pantry for the homeless in the area. It was one of the few places where folks could get something to eat on Sunday. But the church closed it because some of the members didn’t like having to wade through a sea of forgotten souls as they left the worship service. I wonder if ever heard a sermon based on James 2.
Sermon on the Mount
The J-Bar-H boys, we all knew
were really, quite an ornery crew.
They’d chew tobacco, scratch and spit
and tended to carouse a bit.
They’d spend all week out on the range
then Saturday, wash up and change
and when they made it into town
all good sense would soon be drowned
and they’d spend Sunday, flat in bed
with one hellashish aching head.
They saw themselves as a dying breed
and didn’t really see the need
for folks who went to Sunday service.
Those folks always made ’em nervous
by the way they shook their head and such,
looked down their nose and glared so much.
And you know that cowboys as a rule
will bow their backs just like a mule
when someone’s got ’em under tow
to places they don’t want to go.
Well, one day, out there, on the range,
all of that began to change.
When a parson, just a-riding through,
Asked ’em if they’d spare some chew.
He sat there silent on his mare
as those cowhands commenced to swear.
Well, them roughneck fellers were amazed
this Bible thumper wasn’t fazed
but laughed right with them at their jokes
just like he was common folks.
He asked if he could stay the night
and they said that’d be all right.
Round the cook fire
they dished up some stew
and watched to see just what he’d do.
He closed his eyes and bowed his head
but they don’t know just what he said.
Then he looked up with a big old grin,
picked up his spoon and dug right in.
Next morning, he was set to go
but one cowpoke just had to know
why he would spend time with the crew
when that’s not what those church folks do.
That parson sat there on his mare,
and in his Bible, showed them where
God sent his Son to not cast blame
but love all peoples just the same.
Their lives were changed, those hands recount, thanks to that
“Sermon on the Mount.”
Christians know we are only saved by the Grace of God. It’s nothing we did, so there is no reason to feel we are better than anyone else. As a matter of fact, Christians realize just how rotten we were before we accepted God’s gift of salvation.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2: 8-10