Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

Easter 7 - Year B

So often we define ourselves against someone or someones. We are not as bad as they, so we must be good.

At least Judas was still seen as one of the twelve, even as Thomas was after his desire for personal confirmation in addition to the witness of the other 10. This leaves room for me and for you when we have done our own betrayal or evidenced our own deep questions of authority.

Back then there was magic in numbers. There probably still is. And so more magic was used to determine who would be added for the purpose of some desired number. Neither Justus nor Matthias seemed to have anything going for them other than having hung around for long enough. Sometimes that is all we have going for us, longevity.

So why would G*D shave the dice to favor Matthias, of whom we nevermore hear? No good reason. Why are you where you are, with the opportunities you have? No good reason, so go ahead and make the best of it.

And what of Justus? Was he humble enough to get back in line? Did he pack up and leave, as so many others had done over the years? Did he pick up a third alias?

These are probably the wrong questions to be asking and so let’s return to numerology. Should any Christian Community be larger than 12? This size can engage one another and fruitfully have both a Peter and a Judas in it. Larger gets into voting folks out or pressuring them to not be themselves. Imagine what limiting a congregation to 12 might mean for freeing up resources (no building needed); for engaging the world prophetically (what other option would there be); and for attending to the mystery of a community together (folks called together, not a social club).

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