May 1 is "May Day" -- the day when some countries display their ability to wage war. May Day parades will show up on your TV screen today. "May Day" is also the cry of deep distress. When a ship is in danger of sinking, or a plane is in danger of crashing, we usually hear whether they issued a "May Day" call. We would help if we could.
May 1 is also the feast day of two of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Saint Philip and Saint James share this day. They also share a certain amount of anonymity. St. James' is known as "James the Less" or "James the son of Alpheus" to distinguish him from the better known James the brother of John, or James "the brother of the Lord." Other than that distinction, he is an obscure figure.
Outside of the Gospels, little is known of either James or Philip. We don't really know how or where they lived or died because even tradition is not clear. I think what is significant about them is that Jesus called them to follow and they did so without reservation. We remember them today strictly because they are listed in the Gospels as Apostles of Jesus Christ.
Even if we did not remember, God would remember that when the world was in deep distress, James and Philip answered the call of our Lord.
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek