Everyday Spirituality: The Blog

Discerning in the New World | blog

by | May 8, 2024 | connect.faith, Everyday Spirituality: The Blog | 0 comments

23 So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen.”

Acts 1:23-24

Discerning in the New World

Somebody has to do it. Peter says: Somebody has to take the place of Judas. Somebody who has been a witness from start to finish needs to step up into the void Judas left, and be a leader in the new age of following Christ. When they cast lots, the answer comes out Matthias.

It was an intense time, these early days of the church. Lots of people running in lots of directions, trying to figure out what it means to be the leaders of the next chapter of the story. I wonder what it meant for Barsabbas to lose the casting of the lots. Did he continue to journey with the followers of Jesus, or did he feel like his loss meant he wasn’t part of the team anymore? Or was it a relief not to have to stand in the spot Judas has been occupying? Was Matthias filled with joy or trepidation at the thought of joining the disciples on this new way?

Lots of people think we are in a new age of following Jesus today. We are looking at the things that work about the way we’ve been being church for hundreds of years, and noticing the things that seem to get in the way. We are also in a time of paying attention to new ways to be the instruments of the Spirit of love and hope and grace, like they were trying to do in the time of Acts. I wonder what we can learn from their experiments? What pointed people toward the core of who Jesus was and is?

Prayer: Dear God, Help me to pay attention to the ways you are speaking into this new age. In Jesus Name, Amen

Reflection Questions:

  1. How would you have felt if you were Barsabbas? How do you imagine feeling if you were Matthias?
  2. Would you ever think of casting lots as a way to connect with God’s will? Why or why not? What helps you when you are trying to discern God’s will?
  3. What part of your faith journey comes to mind when you think about serving as an instrument of love and hope?

Debbie Bronkema

Debbie is excited by the power of story to transform lives. Through her work as a pastor, author, retreat leader, and group facilitator, her hope is to plant seeds that encourage people to grow in their relationship with themselves, each other, and God.


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