Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Today, July 25, 2020 is when the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of Saint James the Elder, Apostle. This post is devoted to one of the Feast Days that the historic Christian Church observed that are generally neglected today. I pray that you find this message beneficial in your devotions this or another day.
Saint James and his brother John, sons of Zebedee and Salome (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40), were fishermen in the Sea of Galilee prior to their call to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22). In the Gospel lists of Jesus’ disciples, James is listed prior to John and is therefore reasoned to be the “elder” of the two brothers. Today the Church commemorates the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy about James, killed with Herod Agrippa’s sword (Acts 12:2). He is honored as the first apostle to be martyred and conformed to the image of God’s Son (Romans 8:29).
The verse or theme for this feast is “Alleluia. Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Alleluia.” It is from Mark 10:45.
First Reading: Acts 11:27–12:5
Psalm: Psalm 56 (antiphon: v. 4)
Epistle: Romans 8:28–39
Holy Gospel: Mark 10:35–45
The hymn appointed for this day is “Christ, the Life of All the Living” as found on page 420 in the Lutheran Service Book. You may hear the hymn at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZFMy296ULU
Collect of the Day:
O gracious God, Your servant and apostle James was the first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the name of Jesus Christ. Pour out upon the leaders of Your Church that spirit of self-denying service that they may forsake all false and passing allurements and follow Christ alone; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Jim Tuell