Thought for the Day by Peter Hemming from St Chad’s:
24th August is St Bartholomew’s Day. Was St Bartholomew also the Nathaniel in John?
We know there were twelve Apostles, (since the 9th Century it has been assumed that these represented one for each of the tribes of Israel.) And we know that Matthew, Mark and Luke all list 12 names, including: Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot are common to all of them.
There’s Bartholomew! And ‘Thaddeus’ becomes ‘Judas son of James’ sometimes
… but …
… in John’s Gospel, Philip’s friend was Nathaniel, as in our New Testament reading.
Clearly, among Jesus’ followers, there were the ‘well known’, Peter, Andrew, James or John and the ‘others’! In the church there are those who have high profile jobs, and lots of others beavering away at other tasks from day to day.
There is nothing in the Bible about St. Bartholomew, or Nathaniel, except the record of their names, though ‘history alleges’ that Bartholomew was called to witness to Jesus in Asia(?) and died as a martyr in Armenia towards the end of the first century. (Due to the nature of his martyrdom, Bartholomew became patron saint of tanners, plasterers, tailors, leatherworkers, bookbinders, etc. He may have travelled to India, (in 55AD,) after long journeys in Asia Minor and Armenia (3 years after Thomas arrived in Kerala).)
Few of us are Peters, Andrews, James or Johns. Most of us are ‘others’, fulfilling our vocations in small ways. Jesus needs all sorts as disciples.
So, I ask, how will you fulfil your discipleship?
‘What are You going to do?’
‘What might You offer to help with?’
‘What risks might You take?’
I can think of several issues that are ‘still there’, not least taking forward the results of the Vision Day we had in church in February (at St Chad’s). No one knows where this might lead, so anyone could offer usefully to be part of the debate.
Could it be You?
Here’s a song to listen to while you consider this: