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New Guy

May 14, 2020

“And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:26

Today, Day 60, is the Feast of St. Matthias. Very little is known about Matthias, the disciple chosen to replace Judas as one of the Twelve Apostles. Luke tells us that he was one of those “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 he was taken up from us – one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).

The Apostles knew that the number twelve wasn’t arbitrary. Jesus had chosen twelve as a symbol and reminder of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The gospel of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, is the gift of salvation that moves from Israel in its fullness to the fullness of the whole world. A twelfth was needed.

So the Apostles nominate Matthias and Joseph called Barsabbas, then they left it up to God. They cast lots, the lots fell on Matthias, and we never hear about him again in the Bible! Still, while the narrative focuses more on Peter and Paul, we know that the Spirit that fell at Pentecost was at work in and through many, including Matthias, to bring the good news to the world.

I confess that I don’t spend much time casting lots. But lots fall to us nonetheless. It is our lot to live during this pandemic, and our individual actions will likely not be remembered by history. The Spirit calls us anyway; calls us to bring the gospel to the world and to bring good news to the poor and oppressed.

Maybe Matthias doesn’t just represent the fullness of Israel’s tribes. Maybe Matthias represents you and me, added to the fullness of the followers of Jesus. Children of God made new, all of us. Whatever lot falls to you today, remember that you have a place in the ministry of the church.

And with that, I’m taking a vacation day today. Where will I go? The possibilities are endless! If you need anything, just cast lots for someone else to do it.

Unless you really need something. In that case, I’m here. Otherwise, my lot is to e-learn with my kindergartener!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of new life, we give thanks for Matthias, whose apostleship proclaimed your Word of grace. Give us courage to take our place in the mission of your church, that we may be a light to the world in these difficult days. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Saint Matthias, by Simone Martini, circa 1317-1319 (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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