Monday, May 11, 2015

Easter 7 B - Acts 1:15-17; 21-26

Acts 1:15-17; 21-26
I wonder if the church today would be okay with calling pastors, electing or appointing bishops, or even choosing the next pope in the same way that the eleven (or about 120 persons) choose the thirteenth disciple? The first thing the disciples did was to set some parameters. Whoever the next disciple was going to be had to have seen the same things the eleven remaining disciples saw. Jesus turning water into wine, Jesus stilling the storm, Jesus walking on water, Jesus giving sight to the blind, mobility to the lame, hearing to the deaf and life to the dead. But just as important was that they had witnessed Jesus’ way of being with the outcast and the excluded and the condemned. The woman weeping at his feet, the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman about to be stoned. The final qualification was that whoever was chosen had witnessed the inevitable and the unbelievable. You don’t do what Jesus did without getting crucified but then the Romans never saw the resurrection coming. The beauty of this disciple election is that even though the disciples rarely understood the things Jesus said and did they did understand that whoever God would choose to replace Judas needed to have seen and heard the same things that they had. So they vetted the candidates according to what made sense to them but then they let God do the choosing. I’m sure Joseph wondered why God preferred Matthias but then if he was truly qualified he wouldn't question the outcome. Since both were equally qualified it took the politics out of the process. Casting lots is not casting votes. It’s drawing straws. Or flipping a coin. Or rolling the dice. No matter because it takes us - or in this case the 120 persons - out of the process.

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