Seven times a day do I praise you, *
because of your righteous judgments.
Great peace have they who love your law; *
for them there is no stumbling block.
I have hoped for your salvation, O LORD, *
and have fulfilled your commandments.
I have kept your decrees *
and I have loved them deeply.
I have kept your commandments and decrees, *
for all my ways are before you.
James of Jerusalem, the brother of Jesus, is called the Just because of his decision not to place restrictions on Gentile converts (Acts 15:19).
He was an early leader of the movement Jesus started, even though he wasn’t a believer until after his brother died. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to Peter and the 12 apostles, then to about 500 followers, then to James, and then to all of the apostles (1 Cor. 15:7).
Imagine being a leader in a movement your brother started, a bishop in the new church, and remaining faithful to that cause for nearly 30 years after he died.
Imagine being a faithful, prayerful, traditional person — and discovering that your new understanding of God meant relaxing some of the restrictions of your faith in order to welcome more people into relationship with God.
Imagine being such an enduring witness to inclusion that your fellow parishioners throw you off the church roof for your trouble.
How does the example of James invite you to continual prayer?
With whom do you need to be reconciled?
What witness are you called to bear?
Collect of the Day
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 for ever. Amen. (BCP 245)