Saturday, November 30, 2013

True Reverence for Christ

Today’s topic for the 40 Days of Blogging is St Andrew, the First-called Apostle and founder of the Church in Constantinople. Andrew traveled, among other places, to the port of Byzantium and established a Christian community there. He ordained Stachys as the first bishop of Byzantium. Today’s Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the 270 successor to the St Andrew. Here is a list of the successors to St Andrew in Constantinople. St Andrew is commemorated on November 30th each year with grand celebration in Constantinople as he is the patron saint of the Ecumenical Throne.

A brief synopsis of the life of Saint Andrew is worth reading, but I want to highlight just a single moment of inspiration from his devotion. According to Holy Tradition, when it came time for Saint Andrew to be martyred, he was to be crucified, but he did not consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same fashion as our Lord. At his request, he was crucified using a “X” shaped cross (depicted on Holy Icons), which can be venerated at the Church of Saint Andrew in Patras Greece. I cannot imagine a reverence for Christ so profound so as to refuse the same method of execution.

Sort of makes me wonder about my life and how much I show reverence for Christ. As a Christian (let alone as an Orthodox Priest) I am supposed to imitate Christ. I am supposed to live as He lived. I am supposed to love as He loved. I’m not always proud of the progress I am making in these categories of my Christian journey.

I find most people would be honored to be compared to Christ; in fact it is often considered a badge of honor to be compared to Jesus Christ. Of course it SHOULD be an honor. I wouldn’t suggest that we should stop being (or at the very least trying to be) LIKE Christ. What I’m trying to express today is not whether or not we are trying to imitate Christ. Rather, what are we doing to show the sort of reverence for Him that Saint Andrew showed, EVEN at his own martyrdom?

As we travel the next few weeks preparing for Christmas, we Christians we have myriad opportunities to show our reverence for Jesus Christ, AND TO IMITATE HIM, as we encounter our fellow human beings at mall stores, gas stations, street corners, airports, bus stations, AND at Church. Will we, following the example of Saint Andrew, show our devotion and reverence of Jesus in our dealings with others, or will we accept the praise of others for “being such good Christians?”

Just a thought…

This post is written for the 40 Days of Blogging Challenge sponsored by the Preachers Institute. You may find other blogs participating in this challenge. I hope you enjoy this year’s Advent journey.

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