May 21, 2012

Acts 1:21-22 “Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection.” (The Message bible)

This is Peter talking to the group of people who had gathered together after Jesus ascended into heaven and before the Spirit fell on them at Pentecost. He felt it was important that Judas’ place be filled by another as the group looked towards their future, but not just anyone. He wanted someone who had been personally acquainted with the story of Jesus and who, from that base, could “witness to his resurrection.” A few chapters later in the book of Acts we are introduced to Paul who didn’t have that credential of having walked with the earthly Jesus but who would have his own experience of the risen Christ (think road to Damascus story). We need the facts of what God has done. We need to know we aren’t making up our own wishes and calling them the acts of God. But recounting facts alone is not faith. Faith is where the facts meet our experience, where the bible story becomes our story, where we affirm what happened in history by what happens in our life. This is the witness to the resurrection. This is the way the faith moves forward both in individual lives and institutional identities. So where do the facts meet your faith this week?

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