How are difficult conflicts to be resolved in the Christian church? The person who we remember on October 23 gives us an example.
St. James of Jerusalem is referred to in the New Testament as the brother of Jesus. James came to believe in Jesus after the resurrection of our Lord. Leadership of the Christian community in Jerusalem fell upon James after the early apostles were forced to leave the city due to persecution and death. As a follower of Jesus, James continued to practice his Jewish heritage by adhering to the Law of Moses and worshipping in the Temple.
In AD 50 James presided over the First Council of the Church when the question regarding the welcoming of Gentiles into the Christian community was addressed. You can read how this difficult conflict was resolved in the Acts of the Apostles.
We remember and honour James for his wisdom in following the Holy Spirit’s guidance to rise above his own prejudices in order to find a compromise which maintained the unity of the early church.
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; Acts 12:1-17, 15:1-35