Acts 1: 15-17. 20-26
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.
For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and ‘Let another take his position of overseer.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In the Lord’s Service
In this passage Peter helps us remember the historical significance of Judas’s role, so Jesus may redeem the world by his death and resurrection. Now there is a void in the structure of the 12 Apostles—only 11 remain. Two capable followers of our Lord fit the criteria to replace the open void, so how do the remaining apostles decide who should become the 12th apostle? They draw lots, and choose Matthias.
It is interesting to me that two very capable men were chosen by Jesus to follow our Lord; but, without our Lord’s presence, they had to resort to casting lots. How do you think Barsabbas felt when he was not chosen? Did he feel left out, sad, angry, jealous? How do I feel when I am not chosen?
Then, as now, life may feel competitive. Sometimes only one person wins the race or is chosen for a promotion; only one person gets to lead. I do not think God necessarily views life as a competition. Competition is a human feeling not a spiritual feeling. In our Lord’s view we are all chosen. We all may serve our Lord. How we do so is up to us. It is also up to us to serve with humility, as Pope Francis shows us by his humble leadership.
—Bob Thomas is Executive Director and CEO of Rainbows for All God’s Children, Evanston IL
Heavenly Father, please help me to serve you with humility and pride in everything I do.
May I not worry about the cost. Please help me to focus during my journey in life by helping others, by cheering their accomplishments, by accepting my lot as I focus on being with you in heaven. Amen.