Patronal festival – Celebrating the call of St Andrew

This year St Andrew’s day was delayed by a day to make way for Advent Sunday. It actually seems very appropriate to have the festival in the season of watching and waiting since, in the Gospel of John, Andrew is pictured among those disciples of John the Baptist who are waiting for the Messiah.

John points out Jesus as “the lamb of God” and Andrew immediately recognises Jesus as the Messiah – the Lord’s anointed – in Greek, the Christ. Not perhaps what he was expecting in terms of the Son of David, a leader who would liberate Israel from the yoke of Roman oppression but his saviour nevertheless. But not only does Andrew recognise Jesus as the Messiah but he also goes and tells others – notably his brother Simon who will go on to be one of the principal founders of the Christian church.

There is a message for us all in this story especially in the season of Advent: to recognise Jesus in the world – not perhaps how and where we expect – but here nonetheless and to share that recognition with others.

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Andrew was the first to be called and so was the way to Christ for all who followed.

The call of Andrew – Bible reference: John 1.35-42

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 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?’ 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. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). 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).

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