On Friday, November 30, we remember St. Andrew the Apostle. St. Andrew was born in the Bethsaidia, Galilee. He was born of Jonas, the brother of Simon Peter.
St. Andrew began by first following St. John the Baptist. Then, St. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” (John 1:36-40) “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Andrew received the gift of faith, and started following Jesus. Andrew then brought his brother, Simon Peter to Jesus, telling him, that he had, “found the Messiah.” (John1:41) St. Andrew was the first New Testament missionary.
After St. Andrew and his brother Simon Peter were called to be Disciples, they then returned to Galilee and continued to be fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, until St. John the Baptist was imprisoned by King Herod. Then, Jesus came and got them, and they began their three year Seminary training. During the training, St. Andrew had his moments: 1) He pointed Jesus to the small boy with 5 barely loaves and 2 fish, for the feeding of the 5,000. (John 6), 2) He brought Jesus to the Greeks in the Temple who wanted to see Jesus. (John 17:20-22), 3) He was with Simon Peter, James, and John, when they asked Jesus about the Destruction of the Temple, and 4) St. Andrew was among the faithful in the Upper Room worshipping our God after His Ascension. (Acts1:13).
Church Historians have tracked the ministry of St. Andrew: Eusebius records him preaching in Sctythia, Jerome records him proclaiming the Good News in Achia, Greece, and starting the church in Constantinople (This is seat of the Christian Church in the East).
While in Patrae, a city in Achia, St. Andrew enraged the Proconsul, by not stopping the proclamation of the Good News. Also, St. Andrew refused to follow the command of the Proconsul to sacrifice to false gods. For this, St. Andrew was whipped and crucified. But, rather than being nailed to a cross, He was tied. It took days for St. Andrew to die. St. Andrew was crucified on a cross made in the form of an X. The is now known as, “St. Andrew’s Cross.” While being crucified, St. Andrew continued to proclaim the Word of God and encouraged Christian onlookers to remain steadfast and keep the faith. On November 30, St. Andrew died.
Because of His faithfulness, courage, and steadfastness, St. Andrew became the Patron Saint of Scotland. St. Andrew’s Day, November 30, marks the beginning of a new Church Year. The Sunday closest to November 30, always becomes the First Sunday in Advent. Advent is the time of preparation when the faithful anticipate celebrating the arrival of Christ on the Last Day and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Even in death, St. Andrew continues to proclaim the Good News.
The outstanding Christian characteristics of St. Andrew include: being faithful, courageous, and steadfast. You and I have also been given these and others. What are yours, that you can use to share Jesus, and also give thanks for, during this November?
Have a Great November Pastor Brad Rick