Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Year A St Andrew 2017 Come and See like Andrew

Year A Feast of St Andrew’s (Observed) 29 November 2017
St. James the Less Episcopal, Ashland, VA
“Come and See (like Andrew)”
Matthew 4:18-22
As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

My home parish is St. Andrew’s on Oregon Hill in Richmond, and I cannot say how much I love them and their rector Abbot Bailey. They profoundly affected me as I left the Baptist Church and became Episcopalian. And since then, I have always had a tender spot for St. Andrew. So, no, this is not your priest in a skirt. I am wearing my kilt in honor of St. Andrew, recognizing the debt we as Episcopalians owe to the Episcopal Church of Scotland.

One of Jesus’ twelve, and brother to St. Peter, St. Andrew is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland, and many other countries as well as fishermen and singers. The synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) paint the call of Andrew in similar fashion as we read already. But I have always preferred how John’s Gospel portrays it...

John 1
35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ 39 He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).
In a way, according to John’s account, Andrew was the first evangelist, sharing his hope and budding belief in this man named Jesus.

According to Church tradition, he went into what is now modern Russia, preaching the Gospel to the Scythians, hence he became the patron saint of Russia. His symbol, as we discussed when we looked at the Episcopal flag, is the X, the Saltire. That is the white X on the flag of the United Kingdom as well as the Episcopal flag. Andrew supposedly was tied to this style of cross before he met his death at the hands of angry pagans in Patras, Greece.

He also was a creative thinker, it seems. When the 5,000 needed to be fed, he brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus. It wasn’t much, but it was enough.

May we be like Andrew, and share what we have found with those we love, and may we offer a meager gift and let it be multiplied by the Lord. Amen.

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Blessings, Rock