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.

Forced Out

… he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand… and they brought him out. Genesis 19:1-29  There are days when I am feeling particularly blessed and today is one of those days. Not for any specific thing other than the fact that God is good! As I was reading the story of Lot’s escape from Sodom I was reminded of the fear that sometimes overcomes us in the face of stress, or danger. Lot and his family had to be led by the hand out of the city, forcing him to leave. Lot, not realizing at that time, that God was saving his life! Feeling forced to leave a place or a situation is extremely uncomfortable. Yet as uncomfortable and stressful as it can be our faith in God should encourage us to allow Him to lead us out of that dark place or situation because it will in fact save our lives. If we must look back, look back on God’s mercy. Look back on God’s grace.