The first item on our “Musical Advent Calendar” is…well, isn’t strictly an Advent reflection. November 30 is traditionally celebrated as St. Andrew’s Day. As one of Jesus’s twelve apostles, St. Andrew is celebrated as a national patron saint in Scotland, Romania, Greece, Russia, as well as in other nations and among other churches and groups of people, including in The Episcopal Church.
The piece of music I’m sharing with you today illustrates and reflects on the calling of Peter and Andrew, and later James and John, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, (4:18-22):
“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. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.”
The words of the song are somewhat sobering, but they remind us of an important aspect of our walk with the Lord: that sometimes we are called away from our “happy, simple” lives, as Andrew was, to difficult and uncomfortable situations in order to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world.
If Advent is the time we should be preparing to welcome anew the newborn Christ into our hearts, then perhaps calling to mind the challenging aspects of the Way of Jesus is a good way to steel ourselves for the journey.
Warm wishes for a blessed Advent season, friends.