The evangelist Luke tells us in Acts chapter 1 that following Jesus’ Ascension His (sorry cannot help it) followers took care of some housekeeping details, something akin to spring cleaning. Read Acts 1:15-26 to see how they did it. With Judas Iscariot dead by his own hand, the Eleven were not complete. Jesus chose Twelve and Twelve there should be. So they drafted by lot a 13th Apostle named Matthias to fulfill Jesus’ original vision. And with that we never, ever hear about Matthias individually again, but that’s not the point. Peter got the team in good order to be deployed on the field in this very time, between Jesus’ Ascension and the Pentecost event (more on that a bit later). Peter didn’t know exactly what was going to happen next but he had to be prepared anyway. And so do we.
This week is a terrific time to emulate our apostolic exemplars and get our houses in order. Spring cleaning as it were. None of the Apostles knew the Holy Spirit was just about to come upon them like the very next day, supercharging their witness with a supernatural shockwave heard ultimately around the world. Without that 12th Apostle their witness, their team would not have been complete.
So….you know by now very well where I am headed! (Hint: If it happens to the Disciples/Apostles in the gospels and in Acts then it will happen to us!) This strange season of contagion threatens to pilfer or override our own spiritual journeys, and it simply cannot. If the Disciples needed to attend to their housecleaning, we must attend to our own also. It may not be flashy or even visible to others, but we simply must. As we gather to launch back towards re-opening, every Christian will need every tool in our considerable spiritual gift toolbox to help our communities. Double portions of maturity, calm centeredness, grace under pressure, clear thinking, common sense, and every other charism we’ve ever seen mentioned in scripture. Spiritual disciplines of prayer, daily bible reading/study/reflection, faith formation and nourishing, and a robust commitment to worship. Time for Spring Cleaning!
- Some disciplines/gifts have been present with us for years and simply need a good spring dusting off! They are yours and have been yours in earlier times, but need a good scrub to bring to a dull shine once again. What disciplines/habits/experiences of Christian faith did you enjoy years ago but shelved in the mystery of daily life?! Time to take it or them down from the shelf!
- Some disciplines/gifts/experiences have never been in your Christian toolbox, but you may well need them now. What are those and how might you best appropriate them for this chapter of our odd, shared community journey?
- Peter added Matthias to complete the team. Spring cleaning infers not necessarily adding but just giving what you already have a good shake. What (or who) might you add to complete your Christian team? What needs a good shake before we leave Eastertide behind?
Photo Credit: cleanandhappynest.org