Tuesday, November 30, 2021

In the Shadows, Pointing to the Light


St. Andrew, Apostle
November 30, 2021
John 1:35–42

Poor Andrew. Always in the shadow of his younger brother, Peter. You know, Peter. The rock. The one who is always at the center of attention. The one who was the leader of the twelve apostles and then the entire Church in Jerusalem. The one who wrote two books of the Bible. Everybody knows Peter. Everybody loves Peter.

But what about Andrew? Many may not even be able to say that they know Andrew is one of the original twelve apostles. Poor Andrew, standing over there in the shadows. It is John who tells us that Andrew is Simon Peter’s brother. Notice that the older is the brother of the younger.

But we’re also told that if it weren’t for Andrew Peter would not have known Jesus. Andrew is the one who introduced Peter to the Lord. And while Peter was usually the one to be speaking it was Andrew who also brought some Gentiles to the awareness of Jesus.

Andrew also gets the distinction of being the one whose day in the Church Year actually determines when the Church Year begins. The First Sunday in Advent is always the Sunday that is closest to St. Andrew’s day.

So we know a lot about Peter. We don’t know much about Andrew. As with many of the other apostles we’re given to know a little about this man Jesus called to be an apostle. The Holy Spirit has inspired the writers of Scripture to give us what we need to know.

Andrew may have been in the shadows. But he was always pointing people to the light. It may seem that we don’t have much to offer. We’re ordinary Christians. We’re not pillars of the faith, we’re not apostles. We certainly are not like Peter.

But Andrew may have thought of himself more in the way we think of ourselves. Yes, he was an apostle, and there were only twelve of those. But he was in the shadows. All that he did he did not do in the limelight. And so it’s kind of like you and me. Most people don’t know us. And history probably won’t immortalize us. But though we’re in the shadows, we point people to the light. Just like Andrew did.

Andrew was called by the Lord Christ not to fame but to a life of following Him. Where Jesus led him to was death. No, Andrew was not crucified on the cross by Pontius Pilate. That was reserved for Christ alone. He alone suffered on behalf of the world. But Andrew did live a life that was not his own. He pointed people to Jesus even though it meant that he was martyred for the faith.

Now you and I may or may not be martyred. But you and I live a life that is a lot like the way Andrew lived his life. You may be in the shadows, but it is exactly where God has called you to be. Amen.


Rev. Paul L. Willweber
Lutheran Service Book Lectionary: One-Year, Gospel
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, San Diego, California

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