This Sunday we heard the call of Andrew and Simon from John’s gospel. Andrew and an unnamed disciple spend a day with Jesus, and then Andrew goes off to find his brother Simon. Preaching again after a break after Christmas, here’s what I said.
People often worry about the lifestyle of many of today’s youth – and the culture adopted by so many of drinking, clubbing, casual relationships and so on. “Not like it was in our day – we were so much better behaved,” I hear you saying! Actually it’s nothing new at all. People made the same complaints about young people in the Roman Empire. Young people have always behaved in a way of which their elders disapproved. And one young man we know a lot about was Saint Augustine. For Augustine, before he became a Christian, had a bit of a reputation.
Here’s what I said at our Maundy Thursday mass, just before the washing of feet.
They’re very popular on TV. Murder mysteries, whodunnits – Poirot, Miss Marple, Midsommer Murders, and more recently the excellent Father Brown. And all the clues are there so that you can work out along with the detective who actually committed the murder. The thing is, unless you’re very good at spotting the clues, you usually end up as baffled as the not very bright policeman and have to have it all explained by the famous detective at the end.
Our reading tonight is rather like that. For most of its existence centuries the church has been remembering the events of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, and every year we hear this reading from John’s Gospel. When you’ve read it, you have all the information you need to know precisely how Jesus wants you live and behave as Christians. Not so much a ‘whodunnit’ but a ‘how-you-do-it’ with clues to guide you to the right answer.