Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of James 3:13 – 4:4, 7-8a, the epistle reading for Proper 20 B (Ordinary 25 B) – the gospel reading for the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost. It is set for two readers.
Readers’ Theatre: James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a
One: If you are wise and understand God’s ways,
prove it by living an honorable life,
doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
Two: But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart,
don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.
For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom.
One: Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition,
there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
Two: But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.
It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.
It is full of mercy and good deeds.
It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
One: And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace
and reap a harvest of righteousness.
Two: What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?
Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
One; You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
Two: You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it,
so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
One: Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
Two: And even when you ask,
you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—
you want only what will give you pleasure.
One: So humble yourselves before God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.