Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
I recently read a passage in a New Testament commentary which made a passing reference to the idea of twelve apostles. The commentator made an unfortunate oversight by questioning whether, with Judas gone, both Paul and Barnabas should be included. In our first reading for this week, from Acts 1:12-26, the apostles and the others with them, guided by Scripture and the Holy Spirit, select Matthias, who can certainly be included. Of course, we hear nothing more of Matthias through the rest of the New Testament.
Really, this is all right. Our culture seems intent on making people famous and considering the obscure members of society as unimportant. I have friends and family members who seem to revel in citing musicians and artists I have never heard of, as well as tracking scientific developments particularly by women and minorities, perhaps considering that more important than the actual discovery. And I confess to being personally interested in numerous people who might easily be considered “also-rans.” But in general we would like to think that importance and notoriety should go together.
What’s Matthias’ status? He has a part in the apostleship because he was selected as a faithful eyewitness. It seems a simple qualification. It could happen almost accidentally. But he is selected and called to be faithful with the message of Christ crucified for sinners. We don’t know the extent of his ministry. He has little fame or recognition, but he has a part in the work of God.
Like Matthias, all who bear the Gospel are witnesses. The Lord can use our humble abilities, even our presence which may seem accidental, to preserve and advance his word and work in our world.
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