St. Matthias the Apostle
The betrayer, Judas, had done his deed. Now the company of apostles was down one. Peter was clear as he rose to call the community to its responsibility to replace Judas with another and restore the number to twelve, reflecting the fullness of the twelve tribes of Israel.
I have always wondered how Matthias felt to be one coming off of the bench to take his place on the first string. Did he want to be chosen? Did he lobby for the position? Did he see Joseph Barsabbas as a competitor about whom, by the description in Acts, a bit more was known? The criteria named was “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us…” and here is the kicker – “one of these men must be with us a witness to his resurrection.” This is a criterion dear to my own heart as a bishop in God’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. All bishops are “called to be one with the apostles in proclaiming Christ’s resurrection…” (BCP p. 517)
Yet is this not the responsibility of all baptized people? The bishop of a community is the icon or window for that glorious mission for the sake of everyone. Each person of Christ, every parish and faith community, is called to be first and above all a witness to the resurrection of Christ where we die to everything that is not of God’s perfect love for all the creation, in order that the new life of grace may take root and flourish. Our call is to name it where we see it and also to be a part of bringing it about for all to see – witnesses.
Perhaps this is why we know nothing of Matthias, never named again in scripture. He is to be understood as every person taking one’s place in the company of apostles. The account in Acts is clear that Matthias was chosen by God, not a mere vote. Just as he was enrolled with the eleven apostles, so in our baptism are we. The integrity of that original community of Christ was threatened by one who had “turned aside to go to his own place.” Remaining faithful in community is hard now just as it was then. But just the fact of being in community, seeking to be a part of God’s mission, is in itself a witness to resurrection hope.
Our heavenly citizenship is to be lived out in earthly application. Our security and center in this Gospel work is not to be found in our own ability to make it work. It is not even to be found in the quality of our prayer or, get this, not even in the existence of our individual churches. We discover in a mature faith that it is never merely about us. Even one of Jesus’ choices ended up not working out so well. Our hope is in the living Christ who is among us and in us. It is always about the mission for which we are called – witnesses of the resurrection.
February 21, 2021
Fr Brant Hazlett
Upcoming Coffee Hour
March 7: Emery Family
February 19 Larry Williams
February 26 Doug Williams
February 26 Art Pryor
There is a sign-up sheet for Lay Readers in the back of the church
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Please check the prayer list and see if any changes can be made at this time.
Lectionary readings for Lent
These readings present us with a short course in the history of salvation: definitive moments in the past in which God’s intention to save the human race is revealed. Each year the Old Testament readings are as follows:
• Lent I: A story of the origin of the human race or the origin of the Hebrew people.
• Lent II: A story of Abraham and Sarah.
• Lent III: A story from the exodus of Israel.
• Lent IV: A story of God restoring Israel and reaffirming the covenant.
• Lent V: A prophetic vision of the kingdom yet to come.
These passages are our story and our hope. They are the heritage of the people of God, and they were fulfilled in the dying and rising of Jesus. In Jesus the cross becomes the tree of life and the flood becomes the saving waters of Baptism; the promise to Abraham and Sarah is fulfilled when God offers the only-begotten Son in sacrifice; Jesus becomes the New Covenant; our exile from God is ended as Jesus brings us home in the Resurrection; the promise made through the prophets is realized.
Hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest
February 21, 2021 - Year B
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted of Satan: Make speed to help thy servants who are assaulted by manifold temptations; and, as thou knowest their several infirmities, let each one find thee mighty to save; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Lesson: Genesis 9:8-17
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.[a] 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will look upon it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you; *
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3 Show me your ways, O Lord, *
and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you have I trusted all the day long.
5 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, *
for they are from everlasting.
6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
remember me according to your love
and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
7 Gracious and upright is the Lord; *
therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8 He guides the humble in doing right *
and teaches his way to the lowly.
9 All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness *
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies
Epistle: 1 Peter 3:18-22
18 For Christ also died[a] for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.
Gospel: Mark 1:9-15
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; 11 and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son;[a] with thee I am well pleased.”
12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”