A High Calling of God
Today we read about an apostolic calling of God that could almost seem like an accident, but is was not:
Saint Matthias was chosen to be an apostle under unusual circumstances. Following the ascension of Jesus, the disciples (who numbered about one hundred and twenty) assembled to elect a replacement for Judas. They nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias. (Acts 1:23-26)
Obviously Jesus did not directly call Matthias as he did his other disciples. Matthias must have been one of the one hundred and twenty disciples waiting in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded before his ascension. Matthias was waiting on God. A servant of God is one who waits on God. Waiting could mean anticipating, but it could also mean serving. Perhaps for a Christian disciple the word has both meanings.
In God’s timing Matthias was called. He was in a position to receive a high calling. We may be in a position of service in our church or community. Then suddenly, God may call us into a higher place of service. Will we be ready?
A calling from God is a high honor. Jesus reminds us that we did not choose Him. He chose us:
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. (John 15:16)
His calling is not about a place of privilege. It is about a place of service. First he must teach and train us. When we submit ourselves to him he will also cleanse us. Only then are we able to exercise our authority in Christ. The Apostle Paul makes this very clear:
This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:13-16)
Are we ready for our heavenly call from God?