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 historic one-year lectionary.
The job of identifying and calling a pastor to a local congregation often brings with it considerable labor, even heartache. We rightly ask what kind of character we are looking for. We wonder about experience, knowledge base, ability to teach, and willingness to learn and grow. We wonder if the person we will call is just right to fit into our congregation and community.
In Acts chapter one, the first place where the apostles ever are recorded as taking a passage of Scripture and interpreting it independently of Jesus' directions, the eleven decide that they need to select another apostle to complete the number Jesus had selected. They identify qualifications, then set about the task of selecting which person will be the replacement apostle.
How do they deal with the two candidates they have identified? They pray and they flip a coin. Both have been with Jesus since the start of his ministry. Both are witnesses of the resurrection. What will they decide?
In fact, they don't decide. The process of casting lots allows God to decide. They assume that the Lord will bring his will into the process of casting lots.
Matthias is a real apostle. He completes the number of twelve. We don't really hear much more about him. But he is a real apostle.
God can take people about whom we know relatively little and use them in our church and community, according to his good pleasure. While we would like to do our best to find the perfect match, we can realize that God knows our situation, inside and out, and that he will guide us in every way we need to go.
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