The Election of Matthias

Today's Bible reading: Acts 1:12-36

Coming as it does between the Ascension and the Festival of Pentecost, the next time sequence shared with us by Saint Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, the choice of a man to replace Judas seems to be something of an anti-climax, or at least a rather insignificant event.  Yet it has a vital place in the story of Acts, since it paves the way for Pentecost in a special way.  Luke begins this section of his “orderly account” (as he calls his writing of the Gospel with his name and then the Book of the Acts of the Apostles) by listing the eleven disciples and the others who are waiting in Jerusalem as Jesus has commanded.  He certainly intends to contrast small beginnings with the huge growth soon to follow!  But the listing of the 11 has its own importance. Why must another person be chosen to replace Judas?  The point is that the complete number of twelve must be restored, for it represents the complete people of God on whom He is about to pour out His Spirit.  Matthias brings the number back to TWELVE.

Prayer: Oh God, on the day of Pentecost You taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the life of Your Holy Spirit.  Grant that by the same Spirit we may have right judgment in all things and always rejoice in His holy strengthening; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.