Prayer and Community

This week’s reflections are written by Rev. Brian Johnson, one of our Associate Pastors here at St. Matthew’s

Rooted 2019 – Week Fourteen Day Two

Today’s reading is Acts 1: 12-26

rootedchristToday’s reading can be broken down into a few movements.  In verses 12-14 we see the 11 apostles return to Jerusalem and go to an upper room with Mary the mother of Jesus, other women, and Jesus’ brothers.  There they joined together in prayer. Then the next movement is found in verses 15- 26 where Peter addresses 120 believers to select a replacement for Judas.  It is theologically important for there to be 12 apostles that will lead this new movement. The number 12 represents God’s people. This goes all the way back to the 12 tribes of Israel.  So, they have their first business meeting to choose someone from this group of 120 believers. Peter lays out some requirements for the selection of this new apostle. This person must have been part of the ministry since Jesus’ baptism until his ascension.  So they called Justus and Matthias from the group. They prayed to God and cast lots. It was Matthias that was chosen to be the 12th disciple. We can focus on many things in this passage. However, the thing I want to focus on is prayer. We start off today reading how the 11 apostles with Mary, Jesus’ brothers, and other women joined together in prayer.  Then everyone joined together in prayer when selecting the next apostle. Going to God in prayer shows that these early Christians value prayer as a way to stay in community with God. We need prayer to strengthen our relationship to the God who loves us. God wants to be in community with us. Hopefully, as we continue through our readings in Acts, we will be driven by the faithfulness of the early Christians to go to God in prayer more often.

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