Tender Hearted, ©Mark Hewitt 2015
The disciples find themselves at a crossroads. At a point where decisions need to be made as the risen Jesus has ascended to be back one with God. They spent plenty of time in prayer before they acted to replace one of the 12. Which they again did with prayer.
So how did the gathered faith community of 120 chose? (notice anything about the number – a division of 12)
They put it to prayer. They try and discern God’s will & to seal it by casting lots.
Its not the only way.
Hebrew Scriptures & our Christian Scriptures both have multiple examples of trying to discern God will. Different ways of decision making for different circumstances. No One way.
What is important though, was the community’s approach.
Their decision making process values scripture (1:20)
They had a close relationship with Jesus (1:21-22)
And entered the process in prayerful petition (1:24-25)
Prayer is found in all scriptural approaches to decision making. Guidance through prayer is a process we need to continual use as we have never arrived. God is always calling us on. God’s Love is always there before us. We step into it.
Love leads the way: Prayer helps us see
Acts 1: 15-17, 21-26 (NRSV)
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty people) and said, ‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’
So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
God of enduring promise,
you know our hearts and minds.
Fill us with your thoughts
and right action according to your design.
Help us to be loving and kind.
We know that you speak to us,
and we listen for your wisdom now
and in the days to come. Amen.
-©Seasons of the Spirit