Monday, April 1, 2013

The First Day

Over the next fifty days we will use this blog to  post reflections, invite conversation, and answer questions as we engage in The Challenge. Today, we would like to spent to few moments reflecting on the the Acts of the Apostles, and in particular the first chapter.

The Acts of the Apostle were written by the Gospel writer Luke as a continuation of his gospel.   They contain the story of the early church immediately following Jesus' resurrection and ascension.  The first chapter tells the story of Jesus' small band of followers, only numbering 120,  receiving their commission from Christ himself, before He ascends into heaven.  The followers are called to be Christ witnesses "in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends  of the earth." (vs. 8)   Although commissioned, they have been told to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them before they act to fulfill their call.  The chapter ends with  the casting of lots to determine who will take Judas Iscariot's place as the twelfth apostle.  The lot falls to Matthias.   

Where have you encountered the risen Christ today in the words of Holy Scripture?  


  1. I am always caught short by the "casting of lots" to choose the replacement. It seems so flip to me, even though I know that casting lots was a common practice and used by Saul in 1 Samuel. But it still catches me off guard. And that is exactly where I encountered the Risen being caught off guard! The Risen One is surprising, unpredictable and dumbfounding.

  2. As we read this tonight as a family, my daughter was also caught off guard by the casting lots piece. She couldn't imagine that God could possibly be at work through the drawing of straws.

    I found Christ in the witnessing to the ends of the earth. I find it pretty easy to witness while I am in priest mode, wearing my black clergy shirt. But, what about when I am in blue jeans and tee-shirt and just plain dad,husband,son. How do I witness to my own family? How do bring the love I have encountered in Christ to my own family?


  3. I am one of the people on the mountaintop looking up with wonder and awe as Jesus ascends into heaven. Jesus IS God! I remain in that posture, frozen with my mouth open, until I am jolted and startled by the angels who appear and tell me not to stay there gazing upward. Get busy and go and spread the good news of salvation - now. Marty Rose

  4. When reading the first passage of Acts at dinner with the kids last night we had a nice conversation. Our children are 6 and 10. My daughter is struggling, as many of us do, with how God speaks to us. My generally quiet 6 year old piped up that God speaks to him "in his heart". Amen to that!

  5. I guess i do not understand why casting of Lot's is confusing. For small groups it seems the way to go, unless i missed the point.

    I like young Master Leonard's reply

    1. Jo Meachem (Good Shepherd, Buffalo)April 3, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      I think it has to do with the idea that perhaps God is more present if we pray and converse and come to consensus, as opposed to simply trusting that he will somehow guide our hands to the appropriate straw(s)!

    2. What I have been hearing in regarding casting lots is that folks can't believe that God might actually be at work in something as mundane as casting lots. So often we forget that God more often works through the mundane and ordinary rather than through some spectacular supernatural vision or event.