This is adapted from the website of the Indiana District of the LCMS
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. Matt 20:20-24
Today might have slipped by without you noticing that it is “St. James the Elder” day! St. James was the son of Zebedee. He and his brother John we know as the “Sons of Thunder”. They were devout men of faith and courage and it is likely that James was the first apostle to be martyred around 44AD.
As we read the stories of early martyrs or modern day martyrs we marvel at their faith and may at the same time wonder or doubt if we could or would ever be able to withstand such pressure. When I see accounts of people in other places lose their earthly lives because of their faith I think of the hymn verses in LSB (518). This is the verse designated for St. James:
O Lord, for James we praise you,
Who fell to Herod’s sword;
He drank the cup of suff’ring
And thus fulfilled Your word.
Lord, curb our vain impatience
For glory and for fame,
Equip us for such suff’rings
As glorify Your name.
(By All Your Saints in Warfare, LSB 518:21)