Not just about old, dead, Scottish white guys…
I still remember the summer day in 1984 that I drove my rental car into the little town of St. Andrews, Scotland, parked on North Street, and began to explore the place that would play such an important part in my life. I returned the following year to begin a lifelong love affair with the “Old Gray Toon” as they call it. For two years I studied in its ancient buildings. And since the completion of my PhD and the commencement of my ministry here at Chapel Hill, I have returned every seven years, dragging my family along with me.
In a sense, I’ve done the same thing with my church family every year on the last Sunday of October which we call “St. Andrews Sunday.” I’m going to let you in on a news flash: there is no such thing as St. Andrews Sunday! Gasp! Horrors! But it’s true. There is a St. Andrews Day in Scotland, November 30th. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. Some of his bones (a kneecap, upper arm bone, three fingers and a tooth, supposedly!) were brought to St. Andrews from Constantinople and deposited in a church that would become the largest pilgrimage site in northern Europe. Little St. Andrews became the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland and was later a center of the Scottish Protestant revolution under John Knox.
But St. Andrews Sunday? I invented it 26 years ago! It was my way of sharing a precious piece of my life—and our spiritual heritage—with my new Sweetheart Church. So, I made it up. But now, I think it’s fair to say that it has become an important part of our own legacy. We play the bagpipes, we remember our past and, perhaps most significantly, we remember the Chapel Hill saints who have gone on to be with the Lord.
This Sunday is St. Andrews Sunday. I invite you to come wearing tartan and join in the celebration of our Christian heritage. The question we are dealing with right now—what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus who makes disciples for Jesus—is exactly the question faced by John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Knox and all those other guys. So, come… let’s celebrate together. Maybe we’ll even have some haggis! (Maybe not.)
P.S. Don’t forget that November 8-12 is our Chapel Hill Family Reunion. Nearly all our missionary partners will be flying here to be with us. One highlight will be Serve Saturday where hundreds of Chapel Hill folks will be serving around our community. Please join us! Check out the options for serving online and register at the Connect Center this week.