What a stimulating exercise it has been to dive into the book of James! What delight and joy! He’s so encouraging and so clear about the essentials of Christian living no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves in. Is any among you in trouble? Surely that’s anyone (or everyone) of us. Let him(her) pray! That’s very straight-forward. Isn’t it? Is anyone in good spirits? Sing a hymn, or hum a song! Well, not just to yourself, in case others will think you are cuckoo. But you could hum the music, at least, and, if someone asks you what you are humming, there’s a good chance to tell them why you are so cheerful.
Some commentaries suggest that this is referring to church activities of hymn-singing, and public prayers. Yet, the urging to praying and singing is addressed to single persons. Let her/him pray. Let him/her sing. James only instructs those who are anxious about a sick friend or associate, to join with others, to call on the elders of the church. Otherwise, Christianity is personal. It is meant to be expressed individually, even idiosyncratically.
I have deliberately tried to be provocative in these reflections, because I am impressed with James’ advice and instructions. He gifts to us a true diamond of a book (offering multiple reflections of light). Why not go over it again? Why not join up with a few friends and have a 5 week (or so) chat together about the impact of James for your personal life? Well, what are you waiting for? Go on! I dare you.