As we gather here today in the Lord’s name, we are doing exactly what Jesus told his disciples to do: “Wait in prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit”. Last Thursday, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord; next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. It is that Holy Spirit of God that gives us courage – without the spirit, we are like sail boats without the wind! We are floundering and adrift on the sea of life. We need the Holy Spirit to be able to follow Jesus whole heartedly.
In the Act of the Apostles, we hear how Matthias was chosen to fill the gap left by Judas. He was elected as one of the Twelve Apostles. He was with Jesus throughout his ministry – this gave for continuity. The two candidates, Joseph (Barsabbas) and Matthias were put forward … Peter made the proposals for the two, but it was the Community who decided by casting lots.
Have we anything to learn from the style of leadership?
Note the Apostles disperse. We hear mainly of Peter and then Paul, Philip, Barnabas and Mark are key players in the early church. In this early church, they found themselves in new situations. As the church grew out of its Jewish background and spread into the wider pagan world with all its challenging traditions and ways of doing things, they had to develop new structures and new ways of organisation.
This is as food a model as any, for us to look at what life is going to be life in a new pandemic era. After this year of corona virus, shutdowns, closures and distancing – things are never going to be the same again. We are into a new chapter for humanity, society and our church. How can we best move forward together into a New Pentecost inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit? What do we leave behind? Are there new ways of thinking and facing the challenges of a new chapter in all our lives as church members? Are we willing to accept that things will be different? Or are we expecting to fall back into the same routine as before Covid-19? There are very basic starting points for us to reflect on, pray about and make decisions on.
Hence our survey – your ideas matter. Because, just like Matthias, you have been part of the Body of Christ, the church in the past and part of the new era, the new Pentecost.
Have a blessed week ahead, Fr Joe