November 30th – The Secret of Being a Saint



Today is St. Andrew’s Day -and we began a few days ago to lead up to today. Not that Andrew, the Apostle, is recorded as having accomplished very much, apart from being one member of the first and greatest Christian leadership team, which we call the Apostles of Jesus. The three places where he is referred to by name, in his own right, however do reveal the secret of a personal faith. He ‘discovered’ Jesus for himself, told his brother, and then took a back seat to let Jesus deal with his brother face-to-face. Andrew’s insignificant part in the feeding of the 5,000 does reveal the secret of a practical faith. No matter how small is your offering, it’s always a miracle to see what Jesus can do with it.
The world’s vast ‘us and them’ problem – summarised in scripture as ‘Jews and Gentiles’, was stumbled on by Andrew and Philip, who discovered that it is met by the secret of a prolific faith in which the all-conquering God shows his hand. His hand does not contain a sword to subdue, but a handful of seeds which produce a harvest, but only when they are first buried as if they were dead: like the Son of Man himself. Andrew’s role is at the heart of things after all. Names are very important in scripture, and always have a meaning. For example:
Jesus means- ‘Saviour’, from the Hebrew Yshua or Joshua – ‘deliverer’.
Sarah means-Princess, counterpart of the masculine of Shar, or Czar.
Mary means- Bitter
Naomi means- Sweet
Peter means- Rocky
Paul means- Little fellow
Stephen means-A crown.
But Andrew means -Manly – like a real man: just as Andrea, its feminine counterpart, also means ‘as a real human being’.
Thus we do have saints who are unlike the great stars of history. In fact Andrew truly could be called “Saint Everyman” – one of us.Here are those twelve names again:
He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.
These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mark 3: 14-19
When God begins to change stony-hearted men and women, according to Ezekiel 36:26 he removes the heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh – a truly human heart!
A Prayer:
“O Lord, let us not live to be useless, for Christ’s sake” (John Wesley -1703)
Now read Man-Woman, I Kings 3: 16-28, and ‘Superman’ Proverbs 31:10-31.

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CHANCE; I cannot believe that God plays dice with the world. (Albert Einstein)

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