Andrew the Fisherman

Dear Friends,

Saint Andrew has arrived! Congratulations and thanks are due to Alun Hughes, David Kay and Jack Spence – and all those who have helped along the way – for their patience and tenacity in pursuing the vision they had for this wonderful new sculpture; they’ve jumped lots of hurdles and navigated many obstacles and the result is splendid! Thanks are also due to Rodney Munday for skilfully creating such a wonderful work of art. We have received many admiring comments from members of the public. Andrew looks very much at home – to my mind he looks like he’s always been there.

Thinking about the ceremony made me wonder what the real Saint Andrew would have said to us. I think he might have wanted to say…

Spend time with Jesus

When we first meet Andrew in the Gospels, he is listening to John the Baptist. John the Baptist was pointing at Jesus, saying,

“Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Andrew was instantly gripped – he followed Christ, who turned around and asked him,

“What do you want?” Andrew said, “Where are you staying?” and Jesus replied, invitingly, “Come, and you will see.”

So Andrew went and spent the day with Jesus. It was a turning point in his life. He would spend much more time with Jesus – time that changed his life. And so I think he would want to say to us, ‘You do what I did – spend time with Jesus’.

He might also say…

Bring others to Jesus

This is precisely and promptly what Andrew did: The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him,

“We have found the Messiah.”

And he brought him to Jesus. (John 1:41) The sculpture of Andrew stands over the gateway between the church and the city. I like to think he’s inviting people in – let’s pray he has just that effect of drawing interested people into the church. By standing where he does, I think he has a message for us who are members of the church. He reminds us that it’s our job to get out into the city, beyond the walls of St. Andrew’s to be fishers of men by speaking and shining for Christ. Could you bring someone else to Jesus, just as Andrew did himself?

And then he might also add…

Expect a lot from Jesus

We don’t get to hear Andrew speak very often in the Gospels but when all those thousands of people had gathered in the wilderness to hear Jesus speak and there wasn’t enough food, Andrew is the one who pipes up and says,

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

He sounds despondent. How wrong he was! Friends, we must not let our heads drop and our shoulders droop in the cause of the Gospel. Andrew would remind us of the lesson he learned that day – we serve a mighty Saviour who is able to do more than we can ever ask or imagine. It’s right to expect a lot from Jesus and look confidently to Him to lead us forward.

So let’s allow Andrew to remind us what we are to be about as a church.

With love in Christ,

Joe Dent