Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist and was present when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. When John announced Jesus' presence to the crowd, saying "Behold, the Lamb of God," (John 1:36) Andrew followed Jesus and became His first disciple.
Little attention is given to Andrew in the Gospels, but his activities have become a model for modern day disciples. It was Andrew who introduced Simon Peter to Jesus (John 1:40-41). It was Andrew who introduced the boy with the lunch that Jesus used to feed the 5,000 (John 6:8). It was Andrew who, with Philip, brought some Greeks to Jesus (John 12:22).
These references show how Andrew sought people so he could introduce them to Jesus. There are many people who believe Jesus was a good and wise man but have never been introduced to Him. May the "Andrews" of the 21st century be multiplied so that the mission and ministry of Jesus can be a blessing to all.
Legend has Andrew being martyred on an X-shaped cross. That tradition is the basis for the naming of the wildflower we
examine today. However, we will contrast it to another related wildflower named after the disciple John, who authored the book that recorded Andrew's activities noted above.
ST. ANDREW'S CROSS
St. Andrew's Cross is in the St. Johnswort family but is without a medicinal history. This plant is short, ranging from 6 to 18 inches tall. It has a woody stem with many branches and a distinctly shaped flower.
St. Andrew's Cross has four unequal sepals, four oblong petals, numerous stamens and one pistil. The configuration of the petals, as seen in the sketch, is believed to be similar to the cross on which Andrew was martyred. The yellow blooms measure about 5/8 inch and appear at the end of each branch.
St. Andrew's Cross blooms from July to September. It can be found in sandy soil, often amid St. Johnswort, if in a dry area.
St. Johnswort (H. perforatum) is taller, 12 to 30 inches tall, and grows in open woods, thickets, along fences and roadsides. It has a yellow five-petal, 3/4-inch blossom and many stamens. The pistil has three styles, featured in the Feb. 10, 2007, issue of the Citizen.
The leaves are oblong and have translucent or black dots. These dots contain an oil that is believed to cure many ailments associated with sleep problems.
May the examples of both of these disciples inspire us to share the good news of God's love through deed and word.
Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His e-mail is email@example.com or call him at 770-929-3697.