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HOW FAR ARE WE FROM THE FIRST CHRISTIANS?

UNDAILY Episode 133


In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open, and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it, ‘and,“ ‘May another take his place of leadership.’ Therefore, it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” So, they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so, he was added to the eleven apostles.

ACTS 1, 15-26 (NIV)


What happens when a person or a community stands at a crossroads? When the history of humanity, like yarn on the spindle of fate, seems to slow down and even stall? The Apostles, much like us today, found themselves at such a moment. After the betrayal of Judas, a challenge arose before them. They needed to not only fill a vacancy but also redefine the future. The Holy Scriptures provide us with many inspiring examples of how the early Christian community, focused on prayer and unity, made decisions that had a greater or lesser impact on the future and development of the church. Today, I want to talk about three profound truths we can glean from what might seem like just an administrative act — the selection of a new apostle. But isn't it precisely in such moments that God's presence and guidance are most fully revealed?


 

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