St Andrew, Glencairn

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St Andrew's Day 2010

30th November 2010 - St Andrew's Day - is the 40th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the present church building by the then Bishop of Connor and the then President of the Methodist Church in Ireland. A more recent President who is a former minister in the Agnes Street Circuit, the Reverend Jim Rea, was the special preacher at the anniversary service on Sunday 28th. The 40th anniversary of the concentration of the church comes next year!

Andrew was one of the first disciples called to follow Jesus. In St. Matthew's Gospel, we read, "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he called two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew." He said to them, "Come, follow me."[4:18-19] St. John [the Apostle], in his Gospel tells us some more. "The next day John [the Baptist] was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, 'Look, the Lamb of God.' " [1:35-36] One of the two was Andrew, and when he heard John say this, he not only followed Jesus himself, but, "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus." [1: 41-42]

So not only was Andrew the first disciple of Jesus, but also he was the first missionary to bring another to Jesus.

At our Communion Service today we sang the hymn, "Jesus calls us o'er the tumult"  and Jesus gives each one of us the same call as he gave Andrew, "Follow me." This message of "follow me" was reinforced when we sang John Bell's and Graham Maule's hymn called The Summons, which starts "Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?/Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?/Will you let my love be shown?/Will you let my name be known?/ Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?"

Andrew and Simon obeyed the call to follow Jesus. They left behind their fishing business and went where they did not know. Tradition has it that Andrew made missionary journeys to the places now known as Georgia and the Ukraine, founding churches there. It is believed that he met his death in Greece by crucifixion on an X shaped cross, hence the design of the Scottish Saltire. Scotland adopted him as its patron saint about the middle of the 10th century and his name lives on not only in many churches like ours, but also in the Town of St Andrews and University of St Andrews, which in the news at the minute, not because of its undoubted academic prowess or its great age (the third oldest English speaking university in the world, founded 1410), but because the 2nd in line of succession to the Throne of the United Kingdom met his fiancée there. There is also of course a very famous golf course!

Dear Reader, Jesus is calling you by name to follow him. To choose to do so will be the best decision you will ever make!

Perhaps you have already answered this call positively, in which case our third hymn, by Michael Frye, will be your prayer:

Jesus, be the centre (of my life)/ Be my source/ Be my light/ Be my hope/ Be my song/ Be my vision/ Be my path/ Be my guide.

Be the fire in my heart/ Be the wind in these sails/ Be the reason that I live/ Jesus


30 November 2010

 NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at