On the left side of the Church is the traditional place where St. James was martyred when King Agrippas ordered him to be beheaded (Acts 12:1-2). St. James’ head is said to be buried under the altar (left).
Scripture: He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. (Acts 12:2)
Observation: The note in my bible says that James, the son of Zebedee, was beheaded by Herod Agrippa in A.D. 44. It struck me when reading it this morning that it almost seems like a side note to the miracle of Peter being freed from prison by an angel later in this chapter. It seems to me that we should remember the sacrifice of all of the Apostles that died in the service of the Lord, no matter how much they are given press in the bible.
Application: Knowing that these men gave their life in the service of sharing the Gospel as the Lord had commanded them to do, how am I going to speak, act and live differently because of their sacrifice? If they just died without effect on our heart, mind and spirituality, God would be left to wonder why he allowed them to be sacrificed for us.
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember always the sacrifice of all of the martyrs and prophets who came before me. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.