Today is St James's Day and the readings at Morning Prayer today made me think about the apostle after whom our parish is named.
In the second reading, from Matthew 20, the mother of James and John comes to Jesus to ask for her two boys to get the best seats in the kingdom of God.
'Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?' he asks. Or, to put it another way, if you want to sit with me, can you take the suffering that will be mine?
They answer: 'we can'.
And then in the first reading we discover they did.
Or at least James did. Acts 12.2 starkly reports: '(Herod) had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.'
It's a reminder that most of the apostles were martyred. Its a reminder of the cost of discipleship. It is a reminder of the way of the cross.