Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 11:47
Bible Book: Acts / Handelinge
Verse: 15 – 26
Text: Acts 1:15-26
From Peter’s speech in verses 16-22 it becomes evident that the disciples were very aware of the fact that there was a vacancy in their group. So someone had to be selected to fill this “office”. Luke sums up these events with, “… so he (Matthias) was added to the eleven apostles” (verse 26b). Matthias had to be “one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up …” (verses 21-22), and also able to give the necessary guidance to all the followers of the crucified and risen Jesus. He, with the others in the group, had to make sure that Jesus’ mission to this world was continued.
A sermon about this part of Scripture will most probably raise the issue of the offices in the church and the role they play.
Because denominations understand and apply the offices in the church so differently, sermons about this section will probably also be presented or phrased differently. Mindful of this, I share with you the following thoughts, in the hope that they may have a broader application:
Last Sunday I was in a church service where people were invested in the offices of elder and deacon. Part of the ceremony involved explaining the roles and functions of the offices. What struck me was that the deacons were instructed to reach out to people in need and to address not only the symptoms of that need, but the causes thereof as well.
This apt description can certainly be applied to all the offices of the church and therefore to the church itself.
The church’s involvement in the need of a broken world is about much more than a reaction to the symptoms of need. It has to go further and deeper to get to the causes of that need, so that it can make a difference therein.
This can help us understand how the church (the “offices that guide”, the “offices that serve” and the “office of each believer”) has to be involved in the AIDS pandemic: The symptoms of need have to be addressed, but that alone isn’t enough. The causes of this pandemic have to be understood and addressed as well.
Author: N du Toit (Ds)