A thought for the day Sunday 12th May 2024

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty people) and said, 16‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus - 17for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’ 21So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ 23So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’ 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

I wonder what Matthias or Joseph Barsabbas (Justus) felt that day when they were singled out by the disciples to take the place of Judas Iscariot. Was Justus relieved it wasn’t him? Was he disappointed? Was Matthias elated or terrified that the ‘lot fell on him’? How did these two men get on with each other following the election? The answers to these questions we can only guess at but knowing human nature I suspect there were feelings of relief, trepidation and tension expressed. I hope that Matthias and Justus were able to work together amicably but we are not told if they did or not. Matthias, I hope, did not ‘lord it over’ Justus. Just because one gets chosen does not mean that the other would not have been chosen in different circumstances.

When the lot falls on you, you have a duty to live up to the trust placed in you by those who called you without smugness or big-headedness.

All of us at some point in our lives are chosen to do something – be it follow a certain career, form a lasting relationship with another person or to shoulder a particular burden. Whatever it may be we Christians do so in the hope that God will guide us and be with us in all that we do and that the Holy Spirit will be our guide and support.