The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter).
On his hagiography page, James Kiefer notes that the bishopric of
Why bother with remembering apostles? Are these apostles remembered simply for being among the first people to follow Jesus? Remembering apostles, though is more than just that. The apostles are remembered because apostolicity is at the heart of the character of the Church. Being a member of the Church entails being an apostle. We are those who are sent (the meaning of the Greek root of apostle—to send).
We are sent into the world with various gifts and skills to proclaim God’s good news. But what does this mean? Luther responded to a cobbler, that being a Christian and a shoemaker meant that he was to make good shoes and sell them for a fair price. Maybe this also cuts back on us consumers that we are to seek out quality goods and pay a fair price, rather than run to the Targets and Wal-Marts buy the questionable quality merchandise that while inexpensive has been constructed most likely by underpaid and exploited third-world workers. Or to go out buy the hottest item (like the PS3) and turn it over on ebay for triple or quadruple the price just so someone can have the coolest gift this Christmas.
But what are we sent to do? Proclaim the good news, right… but does that mean accosting folks on the street in guerilla-style evangelism asking if they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? I don’t think so. Being sent touches upon our notion of vocation, what we are called to do. The very jobs that allow us to earn our daily bread should not be disconnected from our sense of our identity as Christians. If those occupations are, then we are in trouble. Whether we work in the world as a busboy or a high-tech CEO, or we stay at home as a parent, our vocations better reflect the discipleship we claim.
So some applications:
Busboys, cooks, and other restaurant workers: You are sent into a ministry of hospitality. You are means to people’s daily bread. When your customers (for those who are Christian) pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” they have just prayed for you, as you have become part of what God uses to provide for people’s daily needs.
Nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals: You are sent into a ministry of healing. You are signposts to the wholeness that God promises in the Kingdom. You stand against the forces of darkness and brokenness as bodies rebel against themselves. You participate in the healing miracles of Jesus.
Machinists, Carpenters, and others who build and create: You are sent into a ministry of creation. You build and manufacture seemingly out of nothing, echoing the creation of the world when God creates out of nothing.
All of us bear the title, apostle, on our brow as we have been baptized and marked with the cross of Christ forever. We remember apostles to remember that all of us are sent into the world. At the end of each Communion liturgy, we sing:
Thank the Lord and sing his praise; tell ev'ryone what he has done.
Let all who seek the Lord rejoice and proudly bear his name.
He recalls his promises and leads his people forth in joy
with shouts of thanksgiving. Alleluia. Alleluia.
We are sent to proclaim what God has done, in all that we do. We remember those who have showed us how.Peace.