I Call You Friend

“Lord, you know everyone’s heart…”  Acts 1:15-26  Hopefully over time, each of us has the privilege of learning a truer meaning of friendship. For certain, friends hold a special place in our hearts. I used to think that I chose my friends, but when I thought back over my life I realized that more often than not my friends chose me. People will come and go in our lives, some remain acquaintances. Others stay with us even during the times you are apart because with friends, memories are easy to rekindle, the present is unabashedly shared, and the future is encouragingly rejoiced. That’s a relationship in the spirit relishing the moments of those valuable times in our lives. Most gracious Immanuel, thank you, for your presence as marked by our true friendships of those you have already known, and in the way that you have already chosen us.

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Called Out

and the lot fell on Matthias…  Acts 1:15-26 Although not among the original twelve, after much prayer and consideration, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas. The remaining eleven dare not choose on their own. It was not their decision to make; not their judgment to call. The Apostle Matthias would preached to the Jews and the Gentiles and is depicted in iconography with a battle sword placed over a book, symbolizing his struggles to preach the Gospel. Although much is not known of Matthias, St. Clement of Alexandria, in his writings (Stromata 4.6.35.2) points out that Matthias is Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector whom Jesus called out from a tree. Is it not true that only God knows the pure heart despite what others might think? Is it not true that only God knows the fullest potential of followers seen even from a distance? Jesus called Zacchaeus down from that tree for a reason. Too many, perhaps Matthias is the unknown Apostle, but he was never unknown or unseen by God. Perhaps we too are longing from a tree today. Know that our passion like Zacchaeus, is both known and seen by God and it is God who calls us out.