In the weeks leading up to Advent, we will be thinking about what it means to be for us to be disciples of Jesus. We start this week looking at our patron saint, Saint Bartholomew. Bartholomew is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke as one of Jesus’ 12 Disciples, in John’s gospels he is referred to as Nathaniel (which could be his proper name as Bartholomew simply means son of Talmai).
‘Then Nathanael [Bartholomew] declared,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”’ John 1:49
According to early church records Saint Bartholomew was martyred, by either being crucified upside down, beheaded or having his skin flayed (his skin removed from his body) or possibly a combination of all three. (It is very hard to find a picture of Bartholomew suitable for a family service!) Before he died Bartholomew travelled to India and Armenia taking the gospel with him to the peoples there.
However his example to us and his willingness to be martyred for the Good News of Jesus Christ, could and should inspire us with the question of how far we are willing to go to be a believer, a follower, a disciple of Christ.
Are we prepared to pin our colours to the mast, are we prepared to sometimes suffer out of our love for God and to spread the good news. Our Bishops are asking us to Live the Story & Tell the Story of Jesus Christ in our lives. How far are we prepared to go to do this?
With every blessing
Rev Stuart Huntley, Rector