PRAYER of COLLECT
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the
armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
+ This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.
Feastday: November 30 Patron of Fisherman
Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He became a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist, but when John pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Andrew understood that Jesus was greater. At once he left John to follow the Divine Master. Jesus knew that Andrew was walking behind him, and turning back, he asked, “what do you seek?” When Andrew answered that he would like to know where Jesus lived, Our Lord replied, “Come and see.” Andrew had been only a little time with Jesus when he realized that this was truly the Messiah.
From then on, he chose to follow Jesus. Andrew was thus the first disciple of Christ. Next, Andrew brought his brother Simon (St. Peter) to Jesus and Jesus received him, too, as His disciple. At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good. It is believed that after Our Lord ascended into Heaven, St. Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel. He is said to have been put to death on a cross, to which he was tied, not nailed. He lived two days in that state of suffering, still preaching to the people who gathered around their beloved Apostle. Two countries have chosen St. Andrew as their patron – Russia and Scotland.
The following illustration from a dear friend in England, the Rev Geordie Menzies-Grierson, sent about ten years back:
The Sacred Use Of Sunday.
The Royal Box Was Empty
On a recent visit to Venice, that city prepared an elaborate performance at one of the principal theaters for Emperor William of Germany. The performance was set for Sunday evening. When the Emperor was informed of what had been done and was asked to honor the assembly with his presence, he replied, “Since I have become Emperor, I have made it a principle of my life never to attend any place of amusement on the Lord’s Day.” King Humbert followed the Emperor’s example. As both Emperor and King were expected, the theater was crowded from floor to ceiling, but the royal box was empty. The brilliant gathering learned a lesson on the duty of keeping holy the Lord’s Day. —Topical Illustrations (see poem below)
No pelting rain can make us stay
When we have tickets for the play;
But let one drop the pavement smirch,
And it’s too wet to go to church. –Author Unknown
Matthew 25: the parable of the ten virgins
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
This parable refers to the Church itself – the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Bridegroom is Christ, and He has prepared a great Marriage Supper for His Friends (you and me).
It illustrates the difference between a virtue based on works and one based on Grace. Ten Virgins (good moral young ladies). Five were virtuous in their physical being (works) and five were virtuous in body and soul.
The parable speaks to this matter,–If there be true faith in the heart, there will be active obedience in the life:.
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Lamps represent the love and direction they seek in Christ, their Bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
The Ten were not all of the same heart. How were they different?
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
A poem, written by Keith Reid, states:
The end of the evening, unable to cope
Unique entertainment no longer a joke
The close of the picture, the end of the show
Merciless torment, torturous blow
New lamps for old
Bright shiny gold
Falsehood for truth
The eye of the needle, the loss of the thread
Triumphant victor, glorious dead
The cause becomes duty; duty’s the blow
Which kills the picture: death of the show
The Cause is Christ! When the Cause becomes anything else besides Christ, the prize is lost.
Too many are attending church and calling themselves Christian out of a sense of Duty and not a Love for Christ.
Duty is a result of that Love, not the Cause (Christ).
The old lamps of the Gospel are often discarded for the new ones of apostacy. These new lamps are shiny and bright, but the old are dignified by wear and time. The Old is perhaps not so pretty to look upon, but are filled with the Light of the Holy Spirit. The new ones are bright and pretty on the outside, but are filled with darkness.
Here is an illustration from a story my mother used to tell me from Arabian Nights.
Aladdins Lamp is a fantasy story that contains much true of genuine merit. From Arabian nights. Setting is a western city in China. The story is actually an addition to 1001 Nights added by Antoine Galland.
Aladdin has found a Lamp that contains great power to the owner. In safe-gauarding the Lamp, he leaves it in the care of his betrothed, the Princess. She knows not the quality of the Lamp. So, a magician who has coveted gaining the Lamp for himself, goes about the streets offering to trade new lamps for Old.
This is happening today in the publication of so-called Bibles that are new and shiny, but dark inside their covers.
“New Lamps for Old,” cries the magician. If we are wise, we will keep the Old Lights and reject the new false lights.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
The foolish virgins only wanted the appearance of having Light, the Wise Virgins wanted the Light itself.
Notice that all slept which is normal. We cannot remain vigilant at all hours.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
At Midnight – this has come to be known as the Midnight Cry!
It is based on the Gospel account of the return of Christ:
1 Cor 15:52 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.