Feast of Saint Bartholomew 2014
A Sermon (Outline) for the Feast of Saint Bartholomew
In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen
+ Introduction: We know very little of St. Bartholomew
- He is mentioned 4 times in Scripture. Once in each in the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, & Luke, and the Acts of the Apostle.
- He is identified by scholars and tradition in the Gospel of John as Nathaniel who was brought by Philip to meet our Lord.
i. The one under the fig tree – who asked “Can anything Good come from Nazareth?” and to whom our Lord said “Behold, an Isrealite indeed in whom there is no Guile.” And who told him that he saw him under the fig tree – and that “he would see the heavens opened and the Angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
- Tradition holds that after the Resurrection, Bartholomew went to the East, to Mesopotamia, modern day Syria & Iraq. Where he spread the Gospel, and may have reached as far as India.
- Tradition holds that he was, like every other apostle except Saint John the Evangelist, martyred.
i. It is said that after he converted the King of Armenia to Christ, by casting our a demon from the idol in the temple of the kings religion and destroying all the idols, the king’s brother became enraged and had him tortured and executed.
ii. The tradition of his martyrdom is Gruesome. He is said to have been skinned alive and then either beheaded, or crucified upside down.
- Why do we celebrate his life today?
- We do it, first, because he was one called by our Lord to be an Apostle. Though we don’t know all of the deeds which he did, we sing them because through those unknown acts, God was Glorified in Bartholomew’s life.
- The Hymn which we sang before the Gospel tells:
“King of Saints to whom the number of thy starry host is known/ Many a name, by man forgotten, lives forever around thy throne. Lights which earth-born mists have darkened, there are shining full and clear, Princes in the court of heaven, nameless, unremembered here.
None can tell us; all is written in the Lamb’s great book of life, All the faith, and prayer and patience, all the toiling and the strife, there ar told thy hidden treasures; Number us, O Lord with them, when thou makest up the jewels, of thy living diadem.
- We give to the saints the praises that are due to them, because through them God’s light has shone in the world. And by praising their deeds, we praise the one who called them, inspired them, and sent them out to spread the Kingdom of the Father.
- As we celebrate the Apostle Bartholomew, we rejoice in the Mighty acts of God – the one who brought us life and salvation through his Son.
- As another hymn remind us (The one we sang to open our worship this morning):
“In them the Father’s glory shone, in them the Spirit’s will was done, the some himself exults in them; joy fills the new Jerusalem.”
- What does Bartholomew teach us?
- That we too are called to the service of Christ to spread the Kingdom.
- We should be inspired to have the faith of Bartholomew.
i. Willing to share the Gospel to the last breath of our Life.
ii. Willing to take no earthly glory, remembering that our life is written in the Lamb’s book of Life.
iii. That we too are inheritors of the promise to see greater things.