Saint James the Apostle
"Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him [Jesus] with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, 'What do you want?' She said to him, 'Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.'
But Jesus answered, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?' They said to him,'We are able.' He said to them, 'You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.'" (John 20:20-23)
"About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword." (Acts 12:1-2)
Sometimes we don't know what we are asking, as the Mother of James and John did not seem to know. Sometimes we don't know what we are promising, as James and John did not seem to know. The brothers James and John are bookends among the Apostles. James was the first to die a martyr's death. John, we believe, was the last of the Apostles to die, and the only one to die a natural death.
Today is the Feast Day of Saint James the Apostle:
O gracious God, we remember before you today your servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that you will pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek