Saint James, July 25

O gracious God, we remember before thee this day thy servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that thou wilt pour out upon the leaders of thy Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among thy people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Lesson: Jeremiah 45:1-5
This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You said, 'Woe to me! The LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.'"

The LORD said, "Say this to him: 'This is what the LORD says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.' "

Second Lesson: Acts 11:27--12:3
During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Psalm: 7:1-10

  1. O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; *
    save and deliver me from all who pursue me;
  2. Lest like a lion they tear me in pieces *
    and snatch me away with none to deliver me.
  3. O LORD my God, if I have done these things: *
    if there is any wickedness in my hands,
  4. If I have repaid my friend with evil, *
    or plundered him who without cause is my enemy;
  5. Then let my enemy pursue and overtake me, *
    trample my life into the ground,
    and lay my honor in the dust.
  6. Stand up, O LORD, in your wrath; *
    rise up against the fury of my enemies.
  7. Awake, O my God, decree justice; *
    let the assembly of the peoples gather round you.
  8. Be seated on your lofty throne, O Most High; *
    O LORD, judge the nations.
  9. Give judgment for me according to my righteousness, O LORD, *
    and according to my innocence, O Most High.
  10. Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
    but establish the righteous; *
    for you test the mind and heart, O righteous God.

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28
Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

"What is it you want?" he asked.
She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."

"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?"
"We can," they answered.

Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible

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