Some words for St Andrew

Andrew…
Called from your nets with your brother Peter
washed up on the shore at the feet of Jesus

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
One of the inner circle
you were the one who told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
Going out to the ends of the earth
Scythia, along the Black Sea and the Dnipper river as far as Kiev and Novograd

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
On to Byzantium and Thrace and ending in Patras – crucified
bound, not nailed, on an X not a +, you didn’t want your death compared to His

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
your bones kept safe in Patras (so the story goes)
treasured relics – handed from guardian to guardian, revered and honoured

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
three of your fingers, your upper arm bone, one of your kneecaps and a tooth
packed into Regulus’s trunk and settng sail for the western ends of the earth

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
shipwrecked, washed ashore at Kilrymont, welcomed by Pictish king Oengus
your bones destined to spawn a pilgrim hotspot and inspire the scots to wave your flag

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
are you here?
The inner-circle disciple, so close to Jesus – you touched Christ
The missionary who took that touch of Christ to the ends of the earth
The dead crumbling bones – what was left of them- shipped to Scotland
The dust of your bones scattered to the four winds by Henry VIII
Are you still here in any real sense?
Were you ever here?
Is this place changed by the touch of your remains that once in turn touched Christ?

Andrew…
if you are here – how watered down is that original touch of Christ?
A handshake with history? Is this the homeopathic saint effect –
so diluted as to be less than negligible?  As if the air holds a mere memory of a passing touch?
it certainly feels so…

Andrew…
you are now the property of the nationalists
who cut and paste the image of your cross all across the land

is this who you are?

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

Andrew…
the home of golf
proud wrapping paper for electoral success
curiosity for tourists who half-heartedly try to guess the spot your bones might once have lain

I bet you never expected to get washed up here…

but you did – get washed up here – and so did I

May God grant me a measure of that closeness to Jesus that so changed and inspired your life
that you were willing to get washed up wherever God and man might take you in service of the Gospel.

Rest in Peace, Andrew.

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