Metanoia: February 24, 2018 (St. Matthias)

Acts 1:15-26
Philippians 3:13-21
John 15:1,6-16
Psalm 15

I was a benchwarmer. I would love to say I was a first-string, A-team, top quality athlete, but I wasn’t, and that’s OK. I may not have ever been first in the field for most games, whether football, baseball, or basketball, but I always made it a point to be on time, suited up, and ready to go. I attended practices, put in my best effort, listened to the coaches or team captains, and stayed focused on the matter at hand.

Matthias was a bench-warmer. He met all the qualifications for a disciple. He had been a follower of Jesus (along with the “Big Twelve”) from the time Jesus was baptized until his arrest, trial, death, and resurrection. When the Apostles needed someone to take Judas’ place, they “cast lots” and Matthias “became numbered with the Twelve.”

Outside of this event (told in Acts), we know nothing about Matthias, but that is true of most of us. Most of us will never be known beyond a very small circle of friends, family, and fellow travelers on “the Way” and yet each of us is known by God and invited to share in the ministry of the Twelve. Which is?

Sharing the experience, strength, and hope we have in Christ. We contemplate what we were like, what we are like now, and try to explore what (or Who) has made the difference.

Gracious God, it is a comfortable thing to sit on the sidelines and watch others play the game, and oh so scary when called upon to jump in and actively take part; in reality, there are no benchwarmers in your world. You’ve called us each to take our place amongst the Twelve. Help me to be a Matthias in my own way – to suit up and show up each and every day – ready to work, and ready to play, in Jesus’ Name. OK? Amen.
-Keith Axberg