St. Andrew

Today (11/30) the Church remembers Andrew, brother of Peter and one of original 12 Apostles. From a short biography written by James Kiefer for Mission St. Clare:

When the Emperor Constantine established the city of Byzantium, or Constantinople, as the new capital of the Roman Empire, replacing Rome, the bishop of Byzantium became very prominent. Five sees (bishoprics) came to be known as patriarchates: Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Byzantium. Now, the congregation at Rome claimed the two most famous apostles, Peter and Paul, as founders. Antioch could also claim both Peter and Paul, on the explicit testimony of Scripture, and of course Jerusalem had all the apostles. Alexandria claimed that Mark, who had been Peter’s “interpreter” and assistant, and had written down the Gospel of Mark on the basis of what he had heard from Peter, had after Peter’s death gone to Alexandria and founded the church there. Byzantium was scorned by the other patriarchates as a new-comer, a church with the political prestige of being located at the capital of the Empire, but with no apostles in its history. Byzantium responded with the claim that its founder and first bishop had been Andrew the brother of Peter. They pointed out that Andrew had been the first of all the apostles to follow Jesus (John 1:40-41), and that he had brought his brother to Jesus. Andrew was thus, in the words of John Chrysostom, “the Peter before Peter.” As Russia was Christianized by missionaries from Byzantium, Andrew became the patron not only of Byzantium but also of Russia.

See Morning Prayer for November 30th

Wind Chimes: 15 Jan 2013

A young Golden Eagle in flight

As the chimes move in accord with the wind and make their sounds, I hear both trust and playfulness. Let the sounds create an image of an eagle soaring; imagine that eagle is you and the wind supporting you is the Spirit. What do you hear?

Trust the wind (Spirit) and soar

In our Daily Office, (Morning Prayer for 1/15/13), we read from Isaiah:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 NRSV

Consider now this meditation from Lowell Grisham, Rector of St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, AR

What a compelling image. When the pressure is on; when we are weary and worn out; when there is more than we can handle; when we don’t know what to do… Isaiah says “Wait.” Breathe deeply. Be conscious and mindful. Wait for God.

I can see in my minds eye the next movement, an eagle beginning to mount the skies. With slow and deliberate movement, a perching eagle will spread her wings, feeling for the power of the wind. And then, gently, like sliding into water, the great bird will trust itself to the sky, throwing its arms out in a wide embrace. It catches the power of the wind and goes soaring, adjusting with modest effort as it picks up the drafts. In a similar way we can run and not be weary; walk and not be faint.

That’s the image I want to take with me today when that inevitable moment of weariness comes.

Please read the rest of his meditation, “Encouragement,” here.

You may visit the website of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville, here.

Image: Wikimedia Commons