Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* James of Jerusalem *


I offer thanks to you,
living and eternal king,
for you have mercifully
restored my soul within me;
your faithfulness is great. Amen.


The Lord of the Universe who reigned
before anything was created.
When all was made by his will
he was acknowledged as king.

And when all shall end
he still all alone shall reign.
He was, he is,
and he shall be in glory.

And he is one, and there's no other,
to compare or join him.
Without beginning, without end
and to him belongs dominion and power.

And he is my God, my living God.
To him I flee in time of grief.
And he is my miracle and my refuge,
who answers the day I shall call.

To him I commit my spirit,
in the time of sleep and awakening,
even if my spirit leaves,
God is with me, I shall not fear.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

James of Jerusalem,
brother of the Lord

Today Saint Laika’s remembers James of Jerusalem, who is called “the brother of the Lord.”

There are at least two other followers of Jesus named James. On the twenty-fifth of July we remember James the “Greater” and on the first of May we remember James the “Less.” James of Jerusalem is the third, a member of the Lord’s own human family.

Much of what we know about James of Jerusalem comes from inference. For example, some Christians who believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, will insist James is Jesus’ cousin. Others believe he is Jesus’ half-brother, a child of Joseph’s first marriage (also an inference). It is also believed that James did not come to faith in Jesus until after the resurrection as both Mark and John make references to his family not believing in him, and Paul mentions James as a recipient of a visit by the risen Lord in "The First Letter to the Corinthians," chapter fifteen.

In any event, James was a pious and devout Jew, who became the leader of the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. We infer also that he is the author of the "Letter of James" in the "New Testament," filled as it is with Jewish themes. He was a key player in supporting Paul’s ministry to the gentiles and his leadership is evidenced in the fifteenth chapter of "Acts", where Paul’s ministry was discussed.

Church historian, Eusebius, quoting an earlier historian of the church, Hegesippus, tells us James was called “the Just,” by the people of Jerusalem. He was successful in getting many Jews in Jerusalem to become believers in Jesus as the Messiah. So much so, that he was hurled from the temple wall to the pavement and beaten to death.

If it is true that James only came to believe in his brother after the resurrection, it is indeed remarkable that he became a leader in the Jesus movement and one who did not stand on his lineage but gave way to Paul and others who were moving out into the gentile world. Part of his integrity must be his humility and his willingness to serve; qualities that are needed today both in public service and in service to the Church.

Scripture. In the third chapter of "James," in verses sixteen to eighteen we read:

Where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Jerusalem, that there shall be peace among them.

... for Messianic Jews and for all Christians living in the Holy Land.

... for the leaders of our churches in our cities, towns and villages.

... for all who revere James the Just as their patron saint.

... for the people of Hungary who celebrate their national day today.

... for those living with cancer who are beginning chemotherapy and radiation treatment; for their families and friends as they hope and pray for their recovery.

... for interns and all who are exploited in the workplace.

... for those killed,, injured or made homeless by Typhoon Lan. DETAILS

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


From the memoirs of Hegesippus the Nazarene:

Ya’akov, the Lord’s brother, succeeds to the government of the Assembly, in conjunction with the apostles. He has been universally called HaTzadik (the Just), from the days of the Lord down to the present time. For many bore the name of Ya’akov; but this one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank no wine or other intoxicating liquor, nor did he eat flesh; no razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, nor make use of the bath. He alone was permitted to enter the holy place: for he did not wear any woollen garment, but fine linen only. He alone, I say, was wont to go into the Temple: and he used to be found kneeling on his knees, begging forgiveness for the people, so that the skin of his knees became horny like that of a camel’s, by reason of his constantly bending the knee in adoration to God, and begging forgiveness for the people. Therefore, in consequence of his pre-eminent justice, he was called HaTzadik, and Oblias, which signifies in Greek "Defence of the People," and "Justice," in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him.

Now some persons belonging to the seven sects existing among the people asked him: “What is the door of Yeshua? ”

And he replied that he was the Saviour.

In Consequence of this answer, some believed that Yeshua is the Messiah. But the sects before mentioned did not believe, either in a resurrection or in the coming of One to requite every man according to his works; but those who did believe, believed because of Ya’akov. So, when many even of the ruling class believed, there was a commotion among the Jews, and scribes, and Pharisees, who said: “A little more, and we shall have all the people looking for Yeshua as the Messiah."

They came, therefore, in a body to Ya’akov, and said: “We entreat thee, restrain the people: for they are gone astray in their opinions about Yeshua, as if he were the Messiah. We entreat thee to persuade all who have come here for the day of Passover, concerning Yeshua. For we all listen to your persuasion; since we, as well as all the people, bear you testimony that you are just, and show partiality to none. Do you, therefore, persuade the people not to entertain erroneous opinions concerning Yeshua: for all the people, and we also, listen to your persuasion. Take your stand, then, upon the summit of the Temple, that from that elevated spot you may be clearly seen, and your words may be plainly audible to all the people. For, in order to attend the Passover, all the tribes have congregated here, and some of the Gentiles also.”

The aforesaid scribes and Pharisees accordingly set Ya’akov on the summit of the Temple, and cried aloud to him, and said: “O just one, whom we are all bound to obey, forasmuch as the people is in error, and follow Yeshua the crucified, do you tell us what is the door of Yeshua, the crucified.”

And he answered with a loud voice: “Why ask me concerning Yeshua the Son of man? He himself sits in heaven, at the right hand of the Great Power, and shall come on the clouds of heaven.”

And, when many were fully convinced by these words, and offered praise for the testimony of Ya’akov, and said, “Hosanna to the son of David,” then again the said Pharisees and scribes said to one another, “We have not done well in procuring this testimony to Yeshua. But let us go up and throw him down, that they may be afraid, and not believe him.”

And they cried aloud, and said: “Oh! oh! the just man himself is in error.”

Thus they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah: “Let us away with the just man, because he is troublesome to us: therefore shall they eat the fruit of their doings.” (Is. 3:10)

So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to one another: “Let us stone Ya’akov the Just.”

And they began to stone him: for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned, and kneeled down, and said: “I beseech you, Lord God our Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

And, while they were thus stoning him to death, one of the priests, the sons of Rechab, the son of Rechabim, to whom testimony is borne by Jeremiah the prophet, began to cry aloud, saying: “Cease, what do you? The just man is praying for us.”

But one among them, one of the fullers, took the staff with which he was accustomed to wring out the garments he dyed, and hurled it at the head of the just man.

And so he suffered martyrdom; and they buried him on the spot, and the pillar erected to his memory still remains, close by the Temple. This man was a true witness to both Jews and Greeks that Yeshua is the Messiah.


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 ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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