November 30, 2016
Grace and mercy to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This Advent season, while we prepare for Jesus to come on Christmas day, it is ok to remember the saints who have gone before us. Tonight is appointed the commemoration, the remembrance, of the Apostle Andrew.
What does the Lord tell us about Andrew. The Lord tells us that Andrew studied the Holy Scriptures under John the Baptist. The Lord also tells us that Andrew answered Jesus' call to study the Holy Scriptures under Jesus Himself. Andrew answered the Lord's call. Only then did Andrew go find his older brother Peter and told Peter that, “We have found the Christ!” And for this last tidbit Apostle Andrew is often called the first Christian evangelist.
Tonight, let us not focus on the abuse of evangelism but rather focus on the Apostle Andrew's faith in The Evangelist, Jesus Christ.
When Jesus told Andrew to “Come and see where Jesus was staying”, Andrew came. Andrew was faithful. When Jesus spent the day with Andrew, Andrew listened to Jesus. When Jesus taught the Holy Scriptures, Andrew believed Jesus to be the Christ. One fruit of Andrew's time with Jesus was then to go and tell his brother Peter.
Tonight, I encourage you to be like St. Andrew. Spend time with Jesus. Maybe, make an effort to attend services a little more often. Maybe, attend a Bible study on Sunday or Wednesday. Maybe read the Holy Scriptures a little more. The promises are for you and your children. And Jesus did not come to be served by you but to serve you, being your ransom from bad fruit. And maybe, The Evangelist – Jesus, will grow and ripen some more fruit in you. The Evangelist – Jesus may grow and ripen the same fruit in you as He did in Andrew and you may invite someone to come and see Jesus in this place. Or The Evangelist - Jesus might produce and ripen one of the other fruits for you, fruit such love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The Evangelist of the Church - Jesus is blessing many by teaching the Holy Scriptures, washing sinners in His Holy Baptism, and feeding the same with His very body and blood.
A fascinating account is recorded in extra-Biblical sources about Andrew. The account is that the Apostle Andrew was crucified for preaching the Gospel on an X-shaped cross. X-shaped because Andrew said he was unworthy to die like Jesus. And when the Apostle Andrew was still living after three days on that cross, his hearers wanted to take Andrew down by force against the government authorities, but Andrew persuaded otherwise saying, “Ah, let God take care of it!” To die like the Apostle Andrew might be a prayer we could all ask our Creator Father. Andrew is an example of what it means to “leave everything and follow Christ,” all the way to the last catch of fish.
Tonight, we give thanks for the Apostle Andrew and I encourage you to learn from Andrew to remain in Jesus by being served by Jesus through His Divine Service and and not strive to serve Jesus. For Jesus did not come to be served but to serve you by growing and ripening more fruit of the Holy Spirit for you. This Jesus died for you and promises to you that even should you die a not so wonderful death, He will “never leave you nor forsake you”; in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.