St Mathias

It seems Christian apostolate is a team sport… and twelve-a-side at that! But thank God we don’t pick teams the same way the Eleven did when they were looking for one more to make up the number. I can feel myself standing there defiantly faking non-embarrassment as one after another gets picked and I get overlooked and left behind. Telling myself it doesn’t really matter, telling myself the shame isn’t meant and means nothing.
But Mathias is lucky I guess—chosen last is better than chosen not at all. Doesn’t your heart ache for Joseph Justus? Brought to the point of choice, acknowledged as having all it takes, and then rejected by on the toss of a coin and never getting to play.
Thank God we as a church don’t do it that way any more. Thank God we don’t train people of talent, recognize their gifts, and then pass them over without a word. Thank God ministry is no longer a lottery.
What really does it take to be an apostle? Communication skills, social analysis, a bustling brain filled with theology? The proper gender, the correct class, the right color?
How should we choose? You have to be a witness. A witness to Jesus. You have to have known him, seen him work, felt his touch, seen his smile, walked his way, witnessed the sweat on his brow, danced with him around the fire. You have to have stood by him through his failures, or wanted to… since we too fail. You have to have known him risen and shared the grasp of ruined hands mending your shattered life. You have to have ready the reason for your ridiculous hope—that he has chosen you and—strange to believe—chosen to be your friend.