Wednesday of Week 14
Firstly, a correction. On Wednesday of last week, I stated that Amos lived around 1300 years ago. Clearly my Maths was horribly out as Amos was active around 783-742 BC, not in the Middle Ages! That’s what happens when you subtract 740 from 2020 instead of adding it… My apologies.
Today we read the beginning of Chapter 10 of Matthew’s gospel in which the names of the apostles are listed. If I am ever asked to run a quiz evening, this is one of the questions that I like to throw in, namely, name the twelve apostles. The trap that a lot of people fall into is to begin with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – which sounds quite familiar but only two of those were apostles! The likelihood is that many will also battle to remember Bartholomew, Philip and Thaddeus.
Some of you may be familiar with that exercise of choosing from a list who you would select to run your company based on only their character traits. The motley bunch, of course, is the apostles. And yet Jesus chose them all, including Judas, to be those who would be entrusted to begin the Christian church. The first verse of Chapter 10 tells us that Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits and to cure every disease and illness. One might suggest that they would be quite useful in society right now.
And then Jesus sends out the twelve with the instruction to seek out the lost sheep of Israel with the message that, “The kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Sadly, there are many lost sheep in the world today who are seeking something – maybe anything – that will give them security. What they find might be empty promises or trinkets of this world which may seem to bring happiness, but which are ultimately not going to get them to heaven.
The modern disciple does not have to be an orator or charismatic leader. If we can say that we have truly brought just one lost sheep to redemption, then we may have a claim to our own. Jesus is choosing each one of us, warts and all, to be his hands and his voice. What an amazing privilege!
Have a wonderful day.
God Bless and stay safe. Dc Mike and the team.