7 Easter, May 13
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 • Ps. 1 • 1 John 5:9-13 • John 17:6-19
The believers, numbering about 120, met, and under the leadership and urging of Peter resolved to add among their apostolic station “one of the men who [had] accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us” (Acts 1:21). Judas had turned aside, and so one was added to the apostolic band of 12, whose number was a sign of the tribes of Israel and their calling as a blessing to the world. Waiting upon the Lord to choose between Justus and Matthias, they cast lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. It fell on him. He did not ask for it or campaign for it. Providence placed him where he was and let the lot fall where it did. God is not mocked. Matthias is chosen for a reason. He is placed.
The appointment of Matthias as a leader is instructive for every Christian. Every Christian is chosen, called, summoned to a vocation and moment that no other person can fill, though every calling is woven into the complex web of the Church’s being. We are members one of another, and yet every member has something, was given something, a pearl of great price hidden from all others. A lot falls upon every baptized person. We do not choose Jesus; he chooses us. He calls us and sets before us good works to walk in, whether in matters grave and small, in risk and danger or love and devotion. He calls us and gives us a life worth living, a life worth fighting for. To be a Christian is to know that an irrevocable lot has fallen, not by the cold hand of fate but by the heat of providential love.
Called by God, a Christian is not taken out of the world God has created and loved. And yet there is a world of evil and death from which a Christian most certainly is called apart and summoned to reject (John 17:15; John 17:6). A Christian knows and feels the testimony of God branded on a broken heart. A Christian knows that “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11). A Christian knows and feels the mystery of the divine name inscribed upon the forehead with fragrant oil. A Christian knows and feels the communion of brothers and sisters who yearn for eternal life breaking in upon the present moment. A Christian is sanctified in the truth. And what is truth? The truth that sets free is the living and active word of God, risen from the dead and engrafted in bodies and souls for the life of the world. A Christian is united to Christ who broke the bonds of death and hell. A Christian loves life in all its fullness and bears the complete joy of Christ to the world (John 17:13).
Therefore, a Christian rejects Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God. A Christian will not follow the advice of the wicked, will not walk on the path that sinners tread, will not sit with scoffers who have made peace with death and blood money. A Christian will delight in the law and love of God and meditate on it day and night. With love and rage, tenderness and intelligence, humor and tears, a person grafted into the life of Christ will affirm and advocate for a better, safer, more humane world. Sadly, a Christian will and must learn that much of what is broadcast in the name of Christianity has been co-opted by the enemy.
Discerning and living the truth means working for life.
Look It Up
Read Psalm 1:1.
Think About It
Jesus conquered evil. He did not sit with it.