Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Today, October 23, 2020 is when the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of Jesus and Martyr. 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 of Jerusalem, (or ‘James the Just’) is referred by Saint Paul as ‘the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:19).’ Some modern theologians believe that James was a son of Joseph and Mary and, therefore a biological brother of Jesus… Along with other relatives of our Lord (except His mother), James did not believe in Jesus until after His resurrection (John 7:3-5; I Corinthians 15:7). After becoming a Christian, James was elevated to a position of leadership within the earliest Christian community. Especially following Saint Peter’s departure from Jerusalem, James was recognized as the bishop of the Church in that holy city (Acts 12:17; 15:12ff). According to the historian Josephus, James was martyred in AD 62 by being stoned to death by the Sadducees. James authored the Epistle in the New Testament that bears his name. In it, he exhorts his readers to remain steadfast in the one true faith, even in the face of suffering and temptation, and to live by faith the life that is in Christ Jesus. Such a faith, he makes clear, is a busy and active thing, which never ceases to do good, to confess the Gospel by words and actions, and to stake its life, both now and forever, in the cross.” 1
The verse or theme for this feast is “Alleluia. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Alleluia.” It is from Psalm 116:15.
First Reading Acts 15:12-22a
Psalm Psalm 133 (antiphon v. 1)
Epistle James 1:1-12
Gospel Matthew 13:54-58
The hymn appointed for this day is “Praise the Almighty” as found on page 797 in the Lutheran Service Book. You may listen to the hymn at the link direct below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1nRAuXJyzc
Collect of the Day:
Heavenly Father, shepherd of Your people, You raised up James the Just, brother of our Lord, to lead and guide Your Church. Grant that we may follow his example of prayer and reconciliation and be strengthened by the witness of his death; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Jim Tuell
1 Treasury of Daily Prayer, Scot A Kinnaman, General Editor, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, MO., 2008, 841-842.