Thursday, November 29, 2007

St. Andrew the Connector

Thursday, November 29, 2007 -- Week of Proper 29
(St. Andrew the Apostle)

(Oooops. After I finished my Morning Reflection, focusing on St. Andrew, I realised I have messed up. Tomorrow -- Nov. 30. -- is St. Andrew's Day. Oh, well.)

"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

Audio Podcasts of today's "Morning Reflection" and those from the past week are available from http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html (go to St. Paul's Home Page www.stpaulsfay.org and click "Morning Reflection podcast")



Today's Readings for the Daily Office

The correct readings for Thursday of Pr 29 (Book of Common Prayer, p 994)
Psalms 131, 132, [133 (morning) 134, 135 (evening)
Zephanaiah 3:1-13
1 Peter 2:11-25
Matthew 20:1-16

Here are the readings for St. Andrew's day that I read (p. 996)
Morning Prayer: Psalm 34; Isaiah 49:1-6; 1 Corinthians 4:1-16
Evening Prayer: Psalms 96, 100, Isaiah 55:1-5; John 1:35-42


"Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries." (1 Corinthians 4:1)

Andrew was a connector. It was Andrew who first heard Jesus and was intrigued enough to run drag his brother to see also. "Peter, come with me. I think we've found the One!" (John 1:40f) Among the great press of pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover, some Greeks came to Philip saying they wanted to see Jesus. Philip didn't seem to know what to do, so he passed them to Andrew. No problem. Andrew takes them to Jesus, who gives them a bit of teaching about seeds that die and produce much fruit -- perfect philosophical grist for their Greek minds to grind on. (John 12) And when everybody was running around not knowing what to do because the crowd was hungry and there wasn't enough money to buy so many people even a bite of food, Andrew naively brings up a small boy who has five barley loaves and two fish. When connected to Jesus, it is enough.

Andrew seemed to fade in prominence among the disciples in comparison to his brother Peter who was taken into the inner circle and became the de facto leader following the Resurrection. And we don't hear anything of Andrew once the movement begins to bear fruit throughout the Greek world. And the miracle of the feeding of the multitudes is so spectacular that only one of the six accounts makes mention of Andrew's mediating service. He's not a big player, but in a natural, friendly way, he connects people with Jesus. It's his gift. He's a connector.

Sam Portaro writes of him this way: "That is the beauty of the manner and mission of Andrew; bringing others to God, he paid each of them the highest honor and accorded them the greatest dignity. Can there be any higher compliment, any greater token of esteem and worth, than to be reckoned a fit gift to God? What more endearing and loving gesture can one make on behalf of another than to say, 'You are worthy of presentation to God?'" (Brightest and Best)

Andrew was one of those who was intrigued enough by Jesus' enigmatic invitation, "Come and see," that he went, and saw. Then, he was unselfconscious enough graciously to invite others to "come and see." And from that little seed, great things happen.

The little connection. It's like plugging lights into the wall. The light just sits there, not quite living up to its potential, needing something, and maybe not even knowing what that something is -- not knowing how to bring to itself the source of what will give it the energy it needs to be and to do what it already is. Then Andrew comes along with the small gesture. "I'll just make a little connection..." He stands back in the shadow, and the light comes on.

Lowell
______________________

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The Rev. Lowell Grisham
St
.
Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, AR

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life:
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

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