Read Acts 1:12-17, 21-26.
The lectionary excludes it, but the whole of this reading includes some details about the graphic death of Judas and offers scriptural justification for his downfall. Peter quotes verses from two separate psalms. Both express dismay over feelings of betrayal, but the latter quotation, taken from Psalm 109:8, deals with the betrayal of someone close to the psalmist. In this psalm, the author acts out of love and is met with hatred and false accusations. Ultimately, the psalmist appeals for the downfall of his accuser and asks that someone else take their place. Peter views the betrayal of Jesus and the death of Judas through the lens of this psalm. Someone else is now called to fill this vacated leadership role.
When stepping into any new leadership role, we inherit the legacy of those who served before us. This reality brings a unique set of challenges. Sometimes our predecessors are beloved, and we face the challenge of living up to their legacy. In other cases, those who come before us leave behind problematic legacies that we struggle to reconcile with and overcome.
We can only imagine the pressure Matthias must have felt when he was called into the role of an apostle. However, we should note that the text explicitly describes the responsibility of ministry as a shared one. Matthias is not alone in his calling, and he has the support of others as he grows into this new role.
Gracious and loving God, you know the depths of our hearts. Help us recognize our call to participate in the full breadth of Christ’s ministry. By your spirit, give us the confidence and humility to serve our community in ways that reflect your unending love for all people and all creation. Amen.
Rev. Chris Bailey
Campus Minister, Marshall UKIRK
Alum, Spartanburg UKIRK (PSA)