29 November 2008

Lang may y'er lum reek

For the Scottish diaspora, 30 November is a major day. It is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, patron saint of Scotland. As the 30th is tomorrow, I have to write about it today because Sunday is a no post day except for a sermon and Evensong.

The day is not such a huge "deal" in Scotland, though; it is mainly a day for expatriates and for those of Scottish ancestry, like me.

It is also the day that tells us when Advent arrives: Advent Sunday is the Sunday closest to St. Andrew's day.

For Episcopalians, the day should be a significant day as well. The Episcopal Church is really a daughter of the Episcopal Church of Scotland. Their bishops consecrated SamuelSeabury who was our first bishop.

We commemorate that event though our Episcopal Flag. There are nine crosses on the left upper corner of our flag. The crosses represent the original nine diocese ofTEC. The crosses are also arranged in the shape of St. Andrew's cross, and X shape.

As we talk about evangelism and how to attract new members to our church, we should remember Andrew - and invoke his help. Andrew was the first follower of Jesus, the Christ, and it was Andrew who brought his brother, Peter, to Jesus. That fact is commemorated in the hymn Jesus Calls Us:

Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

Being a person of major Scottish (and English) ancestry, I wish all of you a blessed St. Andrew's day.
May you have,
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks bedside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire

And lang may y'er lum reek. (long may your chimney have smoke it it)