Summary: Lessons from a little boy in Sunday School, the great theologian Thomas Aquinas, the first disciples Andrew and Phillip, and of course members of our own church .. but what about?
I was sitting in the barbers - you know the one? Just down at Old Field circus. I think it was the second time I had been to that barbers since I moved in, but the first time that particular girl had cut my hair. And we get chatting about the music they are playing in that salon (I think it was Heart), and she tells me all about the staff Christmas party they are going to that night, because, well, if something fun’s happening, you like to chat about it don’t you. And then she sees my dog collar , and she asks me which church I am from, and then she says…
But before we get to that, let me tell you a story about a little boy. The little boy comes out of Sunday School looking very disappointed. “What’s the matter darling?” his dad asks him. So the boy explained: "We were taught to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations," he said, "but we just sat." (1)
That little boy had understood what our Gospel reading today was all about. In our Gospel reading we hear about Andrew and Philip becoming Christians. Andrew has already been hanging out with John the Baptist, Philip as far as we can tell had no particular religious background. Indeed his parents were clearly so lax in their Jewish faith that they called him by a Greek name rather than a biblical one. But when these two young men meet Jesus, the effect on them is the same. They realise they have met somebody special - As Andrew puts it “we have found the messiah”. So what is the first thing both Andrew and Philip do on meeting Jesus?
Do they think - I must spend time with Jesus because I have got so much to learn from him, and then perhaps in a few years time I can train to be a Pharisee?
Do they think - Oh this is SO IMPORTANT - perhaps the two of us should get together and form a committee to work out the implications of what it means to be a Christians, not forgetting risk assessments and health and safety?
what is the first thing both Andrew and Philip do on meeting Jesus?
The first thing they both did is to tell someone about Jesus.
Andrew “first found his brother Simon and said to him “we have found the Messiah”... He brought Simon to Jesus…”
Philip goes and finds his friend Nathaniel - “Philip said to him, “Come and See.”
As a new vicar at St Barnabas, it is great to see new people here in church. It says something about this church - this is a church where new people are constantly coming. Anyway without embarrassing them too much, or saying whether they are here today or not, a few weeks after I arrived, there is one particular new family in church. There’s three of them. The next week they come back. The week after that they come back again, but this time there’s four of them. They hadn’t been to church before, they start coming, and I don’t know what words they use, but there is something about this God thing, this Jesus thing, that they like, so they say to the fourth member of the family, “you got to try this:Come and see”.