Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Proper of Yesterday: St. James the Apostle

Yesterday we remembered St. James the Apostle, Martyr. This is James the fisherman, brother of John and son of Zebedee, and part of the "inner three" that included Peter and his brother. (I wonder in passing why is was three and why Andrew, Peter's brother and the first Apostle, was not included. ) James the apostle is not the same as James, brother of Our Lord, either. This is the James whose mother asked Jesus to put her sons on thrones to his right and to his left. We remember him in parituclar because he was the first Christian martyr. His death is recorded in Acts ch. 12 and was basically a political stunt on the part of Herod Antipas.

I thought the Collect was particularly apt, given that most of the bishops in the Anglican Communion are gathered at the Lambeth Conference. I wonder if they prayer the same prayer and were reminded that true Christian leadership is the leadership of service and not exaltation?

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.


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