Wednesday, June 3, 2015
we get psyched out in today's reading. the disciples are picking a replacement for Judas. the writer of the book of Acts (probably Luke) says that it comes down to two guys - either Joseph, who is called Barsabbas (which means he was the son of someone named Sabbas, BTW) and who had the nickname Justus... or some guy named Matthias.
it seems pretty obvious who is going to be chosen, right? i mean, they give us all this background information on Joseph. we know who is father is, and we know that he comes with a nickname built in - and as you know the disciples were big on having nicknames. my fav was "the twin", because it seems ironic. doesn't it? how odd would it be to walk into a room and say "is the twin here?" it kind of implies two people...
but we're wrong! it's a red herring. Joseph, the son of Sabbas (which is a cool palindrome name), with the admirable nickname Justus... is NOT chosen!
instead, the guy named Matthias, about whom we know nothing... he's the one chosen.
leave it to God to surprise us. He does that, doesn't He? just when you think you've got a grip on His way of doing things... He throws you for a loop.
for His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. He's so far above us, it boggles the mind.
but we CAN trust Him. as much as He is far above us... as much as He is not a tame Lion... He is good. He is love. He is ultimately trustworthy. that is, one might argue, the entire purpose of most of the Bible - to teach us that God is good... and loving... and kind. He is rich in mercy and forgiveness. because our natural human nature is to think of God as being powerful and scary and mean. He IS powerful and scary... but He's not mean. He is love.
thank You, God, for keeping us guessing... and for being Someone we can always trust.