ACTS IN 90 DAYS
A reading for Wednesday, May 6, 2020: Acts 1:12-26.
"Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.
Show us which one of these two you have chosen"
Many religious groups connect with the concept of being chosen. In the book of Deuteronomy, the ancient Hebrew people heard a call to be God's chosen. Groups like the Nation of Islam find identity in being chosen. Rastafarians connect their lineage with heirs of King Solomon and Queen Sheba from Ethiopia and claim to be God's chosen as a remnant of ancient Israel. There are many others, but these are just a couple of examples. Sometimes such groups claim privilege as chosen. They see a unique status in the way God sees them as opposed to others.
Our Christian identity as chosen is different. It might simply be explained as chosen for service and not status or privilege. To be chosen by God does not mean we are better than others or worse. It's not a badge of honor or a curse of martyrdom. To be chosen by God, especially in service to Jesus Christ, is a gift to use our lives in special service to others.
In today's lesson from Acts we see the choosing of Matthias to take the place of Judas. There is a seriousness to the lesson when describing the tragedy of Judas, who once had a share in the ministry. However, the early community of almost a hundred people needed another servant and Matthias is chosen. He would use his life, his gifts, and the grace given to him by God to serve others.
Swiss Jesuit theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote, "What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God." Perhaps this is what it means to be chosen. To be chosen is a way of being.
Lord Jesus, if we might serve you this day then choose us. With your grace, we will be faithful to you and to others. We are grateful for those that have served you in every age and give you thanks. In Jesus name, Amen.