Tomorrow, Saturday, November 30, is the Feast of St. Andrew. Andrew is traditionally the first saint remembered in the new church year, and the season of Advent always begins on the Sunday closest to his feast day.
The stories about Andrew in the Gospel of John emphasize his gift for making connections between others and Jesus – he was a great networker! He was the first of the disciples to follow Jesus, having learned of him through John the Baptist. (As a result, the Orthodox Church have named Andrew Protokletos, or “First-called.”) He then introduced his brother Peter to Jesus. He also brought two curious Greek strangers to Jesus, paving the way for a more universal reach for the gospel. And, quite relevant for our feeding ministry at Holy Apostles, when Jesus was eager to feed a hungry crowd of 5000, Andrew was the one who found a boy who had a few loaves and fishes that could be shared.
As we dive more fully into the holiday season, perhaps we might use Andrew as a reminder of the importance of our own networks, the connectedness of our lives. May we too be open to what we might learn from others, may we help others find what (and who) they seek, and may we recognize the gifts that others long to share. And may all our relationships help us all grow into deeper connectedness to Jesus as well!
Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your Holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.