Monday 14 May 2012

Bible Book:

Acts 1:15-26 Monday 14 May 2012


When something really nasty and awful happens to human beingsthere is often a strong possibility that they may never properlyrecover from the experience. Judas' betrayal that led to the deathof Jesus is an example for us of such dreadful behaviour. Verylittle was reported for us about how the disciples felt and copeduntil we read this passage in Acts.

The writer of Acts records for us what happened to Judas Iscariotsuccinctly so that we have enough information to deal with someunanswered questions we may have.

But the main text tells the story of how the remaining elevendisciples regrouped and moved on, filling the hole left byJudas.

Twelve is a recurring, holistic number throughout the biblicalnarratives; the twelve tribes of Israel as well as the twelvedisciples which Christ chose. Prayer and the drawing of lots as ameans of discerning God's will may look like a strange combinationof divine guidance and small time gambling, but in fact it was aprocess that was used by Zachariah and others to see who would gointo the holiest of holies in the temple - Matthias was appointedto join them. And maybe filling that hole made them feel just a bitbetter. If it did, they had embarked on the road to recovery.

It was a recovery that was soon to be showered with the gifts ofthe Holy Spirit at Pentecost that brings them freedom to be whothey each were, "pastors from thence and teachers rise" as verse 2of the hymn The Saviour, when to heaven he rosedescribes.

Whilst feeling separate from Christ, still deeply mourning hisloss, and still perturbed by the actions of Judas, the discipleshave brought themselves through prayer and intentional thinking, toa place where they would feel reunited and begin again to leadblameless lives doing what is right in God's eyes. Today's psalm(Psalm 15) describes those qualities thatcontribute to a good life.

To Ponder

Without the coming together and regrouping wouldthe disciples have recovered? Why?

When you have been hurt, to what extent does thisstory offer you something which will aid your recovery?

Looking at the behaviour patterns in thispassage, reflect on what you can take from the story that you canuse to help others.


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