Archive for the ‘saints’ Category

A timely holy day

Today is the feast of St. James of Jerusalem.  Apart from writing the New Testament epistle of James, his major claim to fame is his work as an early church leader in Jerusalem.  Some disagreements had arisen, and James wisely arbitrated at a large gathering.

Some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”  And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question…

All the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.  After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me.  Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.  And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written…

You can read the whole story in Acts 15, but suffice it to say here that this a timely holiday for us.  James was not a political leader, exactly, but he was a leader nonetheless, and his example of wise discernment and reconciliation are a timely reminder to pray for such leaders to be raised up (and/or elected) in our own midst today.  As the collect of St. James’ day says:

Grant, O God, that, following the example of your servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


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