30 November 2020
ST ANDREWS DAY!
Matthew 4: 18-20
Hymn CH4 339 Sing of Andrew, John`s disciple
Happy St Andrews Day! St Andrew is patron saint of Scotland as well as Russia and Greece. St Andrew is wonderful example to us all of an authentic Christian life. So, what do we know about St Andrew? St Andrew was a genuine man of faith who earnestly sought after God. He was a disciple of John the Baptist; whose role was to prepare people to receive the ministry of Jesus. St Andrew was along with a colleague one of Jesus first disciples. He was a successful fisherman and Jesus had said to him and another as they were sorting out their nets at the lakeside: “Come and I will make you fishers of men”. At once Andrew followed Jesus to find out more and became a life-long follower of Christ. He left everything behind because he could see, that following Jesus and learning from his teachings, were the most important things he could do.
In Johns gospel it is suggested that when Andrew had met Jesus, he brought his brother Simon (Peter) along to Jesus. He often throughout his life brought others into Jesus presence. He introduced people to Jesus, his love and personality and goodness. Often in art and in stained glass windows Andrew is depicted leaving his nets to follow our Lord. Andrew continued to evangelise after Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead. He declared forth Gods love and forgiveness for those who have faith in Jesus. He preached the gospel as far as the Black Sea and brought many Gentiles to know Christ.
In Scotland we have the Saltire as our flag. It has the diagonal lines on it because in Patros in Greece ..”he was given the choice of being offered as a sacrifice to the gods or being scourged and crucified. By his own request the cross was diagonal. He like his brother Peter, felt himself unworthy to crucified on the upright Cross of Christ.” Andrew hung on the cross fixed on by rope for three days before he died, even in his agony he continued to preach. He was willing to suffer because he knew Jesus to be Gods Son and that Jesus can forgive our sins. It has also been suggested that the Saltire is a multiplication sign. Andrew brought the young boy with two small loaves and three fishes to Jesus, and from the offering Jesus fed 5000 people. When we bring our gifts to God, he can use them mightily- can multiply them to bless others.
So, as we think of St Andrew may we remember how he gave of himself, to show others that Jesus loves us. And may we use our gifts however small to bless others because God can take them and multiply them wonderfully.
Make the day count!
Advent Sunday 2020
Isaiah 64: 1-9
1 Cor 1: 3-9
Mark 13: 24-37
Hymns O come; O come & There`s a light upon the mountain
Advent Sunday is the first Sunday of the Church year and begins the preparation time for Christmas. We know that this Advent and Christmas will be very different for most of us owing to Covid 19. The Church in Ballantrae was reminded that this time of year provides extra opportunities to witness to our faith and to share the truth of what Christmas is truly all about. The Christmas message reminds us that God understands the struggles we face and brings to his people his presence and joy and peace.
During Advent the church considers the idea of God drawing near. Supremely God visited us when Jesus took on human flesh and was born among us as. Many people did not recognise Jesus for who he was, but for those that did there were wonderful blessings to receive.
On Advent Sunday the focus is on the end. The church acknowledges the truth that Christ will come again and that when he does so he will judge the living and the dead. Jesus spoke on many occasions about his second advent and the early church gained much hope from the truth that Christ will come again and soon.
We looked at the words from our Lord and noted that it doesn’t matter too much when our Lord is going to return but that he finds us ready, waiting, and watching for his coming. Those who have faith do not need to fear this time but can look forward with hope knowing that the world is heading somewhere, and life does have meaning. The Lords people will be safe from harm when he comes to reign. His angels will gather his elect together and place them away from harm.
May we live lives trusting that Christ will come again. May we bless others too that they might be ready for when he comes. May we abound in hope this advent as we remember the true meaning of Christmas, that Jesus is Emmanuel- God with us.
Rev`d Theo Corney