It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Succession, a Reflection on Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

Succession, a Reflection on Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

Some of the readings I have listed for this week are preparing us for the Ascension of the Lord; others, including today's, are in the lectionary for the seventh Sunday of Easter. 

During Eastertide, the seven weeks after Easter, we have been focusing on the early church during the period after the first Easter. The readings from Acts have told of unlimited sharing of resources among the believers (4:32-35), a call for repentance (3:12-19), a pushback against religious leaders (4:5-12), acceptance of an outsider (8:26-40), and acceptance of a lot more outsiders (Acts 10:44-48).

This week's reading from Acts goes back to the first chapter soon after Jesus had told the disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. And he was lifted up. Heavenly messengers told them that he was to return.

In order for the church (yes, I realize that it wasn't called that yet) to continue, they are going to have to tell what Jesus had done and they're going to have to do the work he was doing.

Witnesses are essential to knowing what has happened and then telling about it. In that the church continues to live, continues to do the work that it was created to do. The question that the Ethiopian convert asked Peter remains a good question, "How can I understand what the scripture says unless someone is willing to explain it." I would add, "or live by its teachings right in front of me."

Matthias is chosen to replace Judas. The team is complete, again.

Yet, I am troubled that we never hear any more about Matthias. We're left to wonder whether he did a good job preaching and healing and teaching or not. Or, maybe, I should be reassured by the omission of Matthias success or lack of it. After all, the job did get done even if we don't know all the details of who did what work or how well.

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