Today, November 30th, the Episcopal Church (and many others), remembers St. Andrew. Every time I hear the story of his call I wonder about the nature of God’s call and the response of the one who is called. Certainly both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures are filled with God’s call to humans of all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, sordid (or noble) histories both male and female. The responses are informative and as varied as the call.
Today we tell the story again about Andrew and his brother, Peter:
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. Matthew 4:18-20 NRSV
As I write in my journal today I will respond to a host of questions:
- Does Jesus really speak so clearly as to be heard the first time? Have I ever heard Jesus this clearly? Will I ever hear Jesus this clearly?
- Andrew heard clearly and responded decisively. Must I (must everyone) hear like Andrew and respond so (radically and) decisively? Since I do not see this experience in my own life, what does that mean? How do I balance Andrew’s experience with my own? What is most important in this encounter between Jesus and Andrew and what can I learn in my own life?
- What kind of preparation did Andrew have in order to hear so clearly and respond so decisively? What am I doing to prepare my heart to hear the voice of God?
- How did Andrew arrive at such a level of trust that he could leave the familiar, his family, his work, and follow Jesus? Is such a level of trust possible for me? Is it possible for a few only or for everyone?
- What did he think it meant to “fish for people?” How could Andrew leave so purposefully when the goal was so vague (as it is told in this part of the story)? What does it mean today, for me and others who are ordained, to “fish for people” as I/we follow Jesus?
So many questions. As I write in my journal, I have no doubt that other questions will come out. I invite you, in this Season of Advent, a season of expectant preparation, to start or continue a journal and let the scriptures appointed for the day speak to your heart and generate questions within you. May God bless our efforts.
For further reading and reflection
- The Readings appointed for use on the Feast of St. Andrew (using the New Revised Standard Version [NRSV] of the Bible)
- Continue in your own way to pray, study, and act on behalf of the people of Sudan during this Season of Prayer.