By Rev. Jim Adelmann
“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.”
Judas had held a very important position in the church -- and now he was gone! According to the scriptures, he killed himself out of remorse for betraying Jesus. Judas had to be replaced to complete the circle of 12 Apostles. So, two qualified candidates were selected from a field of 120 loyal followers of Christ and, in the end, a disciple named Matthias was elected and enrolled with the other eleven Apostles.
Before his ascension, the Risen Christ made a promise to his disciples that, while we would no longer have his physical presence among us, he would not leave us alone to fend for ourselves. How would he do that?
He promised he would give us on-going guidance, comfort and fellowship. And guess what he did? For better or for worse, to fulfill that promise . . . he gave us each other in the Church!
Matthias was elected to take the place of Judas because of a need. There was the important work of caring and sharing, healing and teaching, loving and serving to be done among the community of believers and beyond. They needed more leaders and more followers to perpetuate the presence of Christ on earth in the church.