Episode 21

May 06, 2024


B221 Easter 7

B221 Easter 7
By the Well
B221 Easter 7

May 06 2024 | 00:32:20


Show Notes

Fran and Robyn discuss Psalm 1, Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, and John 17:6-19.

We refer to Andrew Root's When the Church Stops Working.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: You're listening to by the well, a lectionary based podcast, preachers recorded on the land of the Wurundjeri people. Hello, everyone. I'm Fran Barber. [00:00:17] Speaker B: And I'm Robyn Whittaker. [00:00:19] Speaker A: And this podcast episode focuses on the 7th week after Easter, right at the end of the Easter season, where you have all been reading a lot of John's gospel and a lot of acts and a lot of acts, and possibly looking forward to the end of that little stint. And it is just before. Yeah, we're coming up to Pentecost, and it has been ascension during the week. Robyn and I will allude to Ascension. We won't be focusing particularly on it because, as you all know, Ascension has its own readings. So for Easter seven, Robin and I will focus on acts 115 to 17 and 21 to 26, psalm one, and then John 17 619. And we're going to begin with the psalm, psalm one, which kind of ties in elements of the other two readings. Where would you like us to begin with looking at psalm one, Robyn? [00:01:15] Speaker B: Well, a couple of things to say to just give us some context. Scholars think that when the editors put together and arranged the psalms, they quite deliberately organised psalm one and two at the beginning, not because they were necessarily written or anything like that, but actually because they almost give us a way of reading the rest of the psalms, or a mandate for reading them. So here in psalm one, we get this language of meditate on the teaching or the instruction or the Torah of the Lord. And sometimes the psalms in later jewish thinking and the New Testament are kind of included with Torah. This is the wisdom of God. So in a sense, it gives us a way for. Almost a lens for how we should approach the rest of the psalms. So that's one thing to say, just by word of introduction. [00:02:03] Speaker A: I think that's really instructive and helpful. And I'll just insert here. I preached on psalm 23 recently, and I don't. I haven't given sufficient attention to the fact that these. That psalms do flow in. I mean, am I revealing my. But, you know, like that there was. So that 22. We know psalm 22 is a. It's awful, you know, my God, my God. 23, in a sense, is a resolution of that. And so for her to have the whole book. Beautiful. Begin this way. Yeah, I think it's worth underlining for people. [00:02:33] Speaker B: And so then when we come down to this psalm, and it is just a lovely six verses, if you don't normally preach on the psalms, this is actually quite a good one to preach on and it really gives us a classic choice of two parts. [00:02:48] Speaker A: It's very stark, isn't it? And it does promise things that we currently perhaps can't see. Like the Lord watches over the righteous and the way of the wicked leads to destruction. [00:03:00] Speaker B: We were wondering if the wicked really are being destroyed, but it's that eschatological, right. So it's pointing us to a future, even if we can't see it yet. [00:03:09] Speaker A: And that the world is there is an order to creation and to the way of things. [00:03:14] Speaker B: Yeah. So look, in this kind of. And we get this everywhere in the Hebrew Bible, in the New Testament, in ancient philosophy, this choice of two paths or two ways of living. And it is often part painted in these very stark portraits. And of course, life is messy, and most of us weave in between them. We are never always entirely the righteous or always entirely the wicked. So we need to be a bit careful. We don't, I think, get too literal in using this language, where we divide up the world, which we're going to see traces of in John as well. [00:03:45] Speaker A: Right. [00:03:45] Speaker B: It's the same rhetorical thing. We divide up the universe into, you know, the world and us, or them and us language. But the image here is of, ultimately of a tree. So the righteous are like a tree. This is verse three. Planted by a stream of water. So in an arid climate like ancient Israel, trees really only thrived if their roots could reach a water source. And because it has this eternal source of water, and your brain might immediately be connecting to all sorts of other passages about living water and all. [00:04:16] Speaker A: Well, I was also psalm 23 and Genesis. You lead me behind. Yeah. [00:04:21] Speaker B: Quiet waters and still waters. So this being deeply rooted by a water source, that is the source of life, particularly in arid climates. And therefore this tree can bear fruit regularly, seasonally, and it will not wither. And the opposite image is a plant, a nondescript plant. We don't know what kind, but is like chaff in verse four. So chaff that the wind, so dried up, shriveled, not fruitful, blown away by the wind as soon as the wind blows. And I mean, there's something, I think, quite poetic to play with there in terms of living a life of faith that is deeply rooted into something life giving, which I hope faith is, that means when the world changes and blows all around us, we. [00:05:14] Speaker A: We stand fast. [00:05:15] Speaker B: We stand fast, but also we have this source of life that. That somehow sustains us. It doesn't. So we will need to unpack some of these other words, like prosperity and blessed, because it's not about everything being woohoo happy all the time. Right. [00:05:28] Speaker A: No. Or richness, which it has been used to mean. Wealth. What does it mean to prosper? And I will also underline the law of the Lord phrase the delight in the law of the Lord, which you've alluded to about this setting the scene for the book of psalms, but that this is what gives the fruit that actually meditating on this day and night is crucial to the fruit bearing. [00:05:55] Speaker B: Yes. [00:05:57] Speaker A: And that's. Well, that's what the whole psalter's about. And as we'll see in the John reading, with Jesus convoluted teaching, there is perhaps for us to meditate on our hearts. You know, that that's the law of the Lord, in a sense, for christians to meditate. So there's a connection in there and. [00:06:19] Speaker B: A little exegetical point that I think develops that more. This word that the NRSV translates, meditate on his teaching day and night. Robert alter translates murmur. It's a word haggah. And it's really to make a low little muttering sound. And if you think of the way jews pray or ancient people read, which was always allowed, it would be almost reciting. So these are things, you know, so deeply that you can recite them. You can walk around muttering to yourself, almost like a mantra or a prayer. [00:06:54] Speaker A: That's a shame. The translation was cause meditate has connotations, for me, anyway, as a western, 21st century person, as something quite individual that I do, you know, that it's internalising. Well, it is internalizing. This is talking about it anyway. It doesn't have the same connotations to me as the murmuring word does. [00:07:15] Speaker B: I know. And murmuring to me, meditate also to me is something like you might do at set times, as if it's this special thing. You go and meditate for a while, whereas this muttering day and night is actually that this is built into your life like that at any time. It's a bit like. I mean, you and I will have seen it in pastoral practice, Fran, where you can visit some really elderly person who perhaps is affected by dementia. And yet you say the Lord's prayer or the 23rd psalm, or you sing an old hymn and they come alive and the word. The words, they will almost go along with you, the words. So there are these things that we know deeply in us that can connect when everything else can't. I think there's some of that there. [00:08:00] Speaker A: Yeah. And also there's an overhearingness or something to it. Too, although you might, you know, you can see someone doing it. So. [00:08:07] Speaker B: Yeah, the other word is the very first word, this ashrae, or in Greek it's makarios, which is what we get in the beatitude. So blessed or happy. I don't love either of those translations because blessed is a bit like hash blessed, and this isn't about being prosperity and hashtag blessed, but happy sounds too. I don't know. [00:08:31] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. [00:08:32] Speaker B: So maybe something like content. Right? So what it means to live life in a way where you're content. Preaching to myself here, content and deeply rooted in one's faith. So that, again, the things that come by in life don't completely derail you. [00:08:49] Speaker A: Yeah. Contentment captures it for me. Although, I don't know, is challenge suggested here. I mean, it is. I mean, it's not easy being faithful a lot of the time. No, it's not like we push against it or we'll rationalize this or rationalize that. Yeah, but blessed is the one rooted in that stillness, I guess. [00:09:11] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. And, I mean, there's a lot more we could say here, but there's a lot to unpack and you could preach a whole sermon about what this might look like in the contemporary world. And, you know, one of the. I think this week, actually, I've struggled with the lectionary readings, I'll admit, because they're quite all over the place, but there are themes that go across them, and one of them is prayer, because, of course, in John's gospel, we've got Jesus great prayer, which is sort of like teaching, but also us listening in on a prayer. And so there would be something here to connect to about what it means to have a spiritual practice, a prayer, a meditation, whatever language one uses for that, that sustains us and gives us this sort of deep rootedness. [00:09:57] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. It's quite a pastoral edge to both of them. [00:10:00] Speaker B: I mean, I think so. And, you know, just acknowledging, if we're going to talk about wickedness, this is the judgment is God's here, it's not ours. Right. So this is about us being responsible for ourselves, but not walking around pointing fingers at, you're the wicked and we're not kind of thing. [00:10:18] Speaker A: I mean, and there is a pastoral way of preaching this where we might often feel quite justified, really, in wishing the wicked, whoever that might be, in that individual circumstance for us or globally, be done away with. I mean. [00:10:31] Speaker B: Yeah. When we see them inflicting huge pain and evil and destruction on others. [00:10:36] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:10:37] Speaker B: And look, the psalms give us language for that, too, don't they? To lament and cry out to God to do something. [00:10:43] Speaker A: Yeah. And to sort of preach about that forcefully. But as you say, pointing here it is God. Whose business is that? And we operate in this murky world, usually of neither one nor the other. [00:11:01] Speaker B: That's right. Yeah. [00:11:03] Speaker A: So shall we move to the gospel now? [00:11:07] Speaker B: I think that makes sense. [00:11:08] Speaker A: John 17, six to 19. So we're in this high priestly prayer where Jesus is praying for his disciples because of his imminent departure. In the synoptics, we hear the similar episode. The disciples sort of overhear this or sleep, don't they? [00:11:37] Speaker B: Well, yeah. I mean. [00:11:38] Speaker A: And he asks for his cup to be taken from him. [00:11:41] Speaker B: Yeah. So in the synoptics, we have that prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, which we don't really hear the words of, except for take this cup from me, but not my will, yours. In John, we have a very different scenario. So we are still after the. The so called last Supper. Judas has betrayed Jesus or has left, and we get an allusion to that here, or a reference to it, both our readings. So another point of connection is we get glimpses in both our readings today, although in acts, the lectionary has left out these two verses to what happens to Judas. [00:12:16] Speaker A: So this is the middle portion of the prayer, really. But we have to have the whole lot in mind if we're going to pray for. Preach on it. [00:12:23] Speaker B: Yeah. And it's a prayer that goes from sort of praying for. I mean, it's doing a lot of theological work. And whether Jesus did do. I mean, this is in a genre of sort of farewell speeches, if you like, that we get in philosophers and other things, how much of it. There's an actual historic kernel of Jesus saying a big long prayer in the presence of his disciples. And how much it really matters, it doesn't really matter because there's some. [00:12:49] Speaker A: It is a bit tricky for us, though, when we think about it, because we hear the whole prayer in John, but we do so not over three weeks in one Easter, but over the three years of the lectionary. So I think when we're preaching from it, we need to keep that whole in mind for people. [00:13:07] Speaker B: Exactly. And part of the prayer is about the disciples specifically and their ministry. Part of it will look beyond to all believers here. We seem to still be in that. Those who've been like, I know you highlighted all the pronouns. I want you to say something about that. But I was looking at all the verbs, and, I mean, the first few verses are give, gave, given. Have given. I gave, you gave. There is this sense of God having gifted Jesus these followers, but equally in a sense that Jesus is God's gift to them. [00:13:44] Speaker A: I mean, these few lines up to verse nine or beyond even, you know, there's no large words here. Like, they're all very simple words, but they're complex ideas, like they can blur together. So I thought, oh, I'm just going to highlight all the pronouns. And you just get so many, all the subjects. I, you, your, me, you, yours, you, me. And I did that because I wanted to get some clarity of what the emphasis might be here, and that's one way of finding it. And I was struck, well, a, that the you being referred to is God. [00:14:19] Speaker B: Yes. [00:14:20] Speaker A: Jesus is praying this. So there's that intimacy that we've talked about before that I don't think can be overemphasized. And also the sort of reassurance and underlining that has been given to the disciples and us, that this connection between God and Jesus, Jesus and the father, is absolute and it is reciprocal, and it is all the time, and one doesn't do anything without the other. Like, if we, you know, what is the problem for which this passage comes along? Well, it might be our tendency to separate them and have some sort of modal idea of God or something like that. This is saying, no, there is no, not to be separation here. [00:15:02] Speaker B: No. And in fact, like verse seven, I think, is key, that, you know, they know. So the other word we start to get is know, which is a very johannine thing, that, you know, God or knowledge of God has been revealed in Jesus Christ. You know, there's they. Everything they know, or they know that everything you've given me is from you. So again, we have this source of both authority and connection that it is what Jesus has revealed is God and nothing else. Right? [00:15:31] Speaker A: Yeah. So nothing extraneous has come. There's sort of not a dilution. [00:15:35] Speaker B: Yes. [00:15:36] Speaker A: You know, don't worry, you won't be miss. There's nothing extraneous here. [00:15:40] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:15:41] Speaker A: This is all of it. And the other thing to me, too, is this is a reappearance of the word world or cosmos, which has quite hostile connotations in John. It does. And that is a preaching opportunity here, that sort of verse eleven, I'm no longer in the world, but they are in the world. And remembering that the world didn't know Jesus. See that in the prologue. And, yeah, the world did not know me. Yeah. What is it for us or in the church to be in the world and not of the world. And we say that glibly now and there's profound truth to that calling, but it can be quite misunderstood and can leave you being sect like in your behavior or. [00:16:27] Speaker B: Well, that's right. So I don't think so. [00:16:31] Speaker A: I've just. [00:16:31] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, no, there's a lot to unpack there and I think it is about getting that balance of, and maybe the psalm could even help here, which is to be deeply rooted, but in the world. Right. So because there is a danger that christians interpret that in sect like or cult like ways where, you know, you then, you know, I'm not ever sure it's entirely healthy for christians to only ever be surrounded by other christians and be in, you know, we're all in our little echo chambers these days and that includes our faith. But at the same time, you need enough of a community of faith to sustain you and hold you accountable and all of those good things that come from being in christian community. But neither is it helpful to just throw stones at the world as if there's nothing good out there or that we shouldn't care for it, engage it, and, you know, and I mean, creation included in all of that. Right. So dangers of a world versus us is that we think the world is all going to hell in a handbasket. So it doesn't actually matter what we do, which I think is wrong. [00:17:31] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. And it's a bit like the psalm we were talking about. The both ways, they're there, the wicked or the righteous. I mean, it's a bit similar. The pitfall is similar here. I take the emphasis in John's gospel is that don't expect an open arms and embrace and everyone to understand what you're on about. Like there is opposition, there is misunderstanding, and there will be hostility because what you're doing, if you're living or proclaiming in all senses of that is you're completely upending the world's understanding of power and asking the powerful to share it. [00:18:04] Speaker B: Yep. [00:18:04] Speaker A: And they don't like that. [00:18:06] Speaker B: No. [00:18:07] Speaker A: So I think I would lay the emphasis there in talking about it. [00:18:11] Speaker B: And also as you're talking, Fran, I was just thinking, while John is quite hostile to the world at many points, it is also the gospel that gives us for God so loved the world. Right. So we've got to always hold that together. Right. Building on what you're saying in verse eleven, we get this reference to ascension. So because we are, as you said at the beginning, in a week where some church will particularly celebrate the feast of ascension with its own special midweek service. But there's a reference to Jesus being sort of no longer in the world and coming to you, you being God the Father in this language. So the point of this prayer is he's preparing them for when he departs. And then in verse twelve, and I must say I struggled here with the language. When I think of what's going on in the world, Jesus prays. He talks about having kept them and guarded them, which made me think of some of those other passages in John about, you know, like a sheep without a shepherd, but he's now leaving and so he's praying for God to continue that protection and guarding. But, you know, when I think of the contemporary world. So again, it takes us back to the psalm and some of those themes that being a person of faith does not. The protecting and guarding is not from suffering. It's got to be something bigger than that. Right. Because we know people of faith get sick with cancer and there are christians in Ukraine and Palestine right now suffering dreadfully along with people of different faiths. You know, the protection is not a magic shield. [00:19:47] Speaker A: No, but we're not. [00:19:48] Speaker B: So how do we engage that image? Like, what is Jesus actually praying for there maybe a sustenance in faith. The protection is to keep them in the faith. [00:20:02] Speaker A: Yes. But is it also maybe, like the provision of a totally new identity that, you know, that you are in God, you're a child of God. We're not talking about baptism here, but there's a level of protection where you can sit lightly, perhaps to the apparently ultimate things happening in the world or, you know, narratives of scarcity and fear and all of that, because you are protected. I'm using inverted commas. Yeah. In the sound contentment to move to the psalm that you, because of the incarnation, because of Jesus, came and is this close to God. [00:20:50] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:20:50] Speaker A: That is where you ultimately have your belonging in your identity. I don't know. [00:20:55] Speaker B: So you're kept in that relationship, you're kept within the face. [00:20:58] Speaker A: It's not about your doing life. Yeah. It's not an imperative. Indicative. Is that the word? [00:21:03] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. [00:21:03] Speaker A: The declarative thing. This is what. Anyway, that's how I might try to talk about protection. [00:21:09] Speaker B: And again, in verse 15, it's framed in a slightly different way about asking Jesus, asking God to protect them from evil or from the evil one, which, of course, we get that line in the Lord's prayer, which is not here in John, but is the synoptics, in a sense, much more abridged version of this when Jesus teaches them how to pray. And one of them is, you know, save me from the trial and rescue me from evil. [00:21:34] Speaker A: Right. Because it's real. [00:21:35] Speaker B: Yeah. And why wouldn't we ask God to do that? [00:21:39] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. [00:21:40] Speaker B: Before we move on, I just want to mention the joy. And again, this was a point in verse 13. Jesus talks about having. I've spoken these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete, which, again, took me back to that psalm and that image of a tree, that maybe part of the contentment is the ability to feel joy, you know, even not again, in that super positive, all the time kind of fake way. [00:22:08] Speaker A: But this ability to feel joy in the complexity of. [00:22:12] Speaker B: In the complexity of life because of this relationship we have with God. [00:22:16] Speaker A: I wonder, too, whether the complete joy is part of this relationality and the sharing of beingness. Yes. Making up language now, but, like, we've got God and the father, Jesus and the father in this first part, and it is incomplete without us. I mean, we think of Rublev's icon with the three persons of the Trinity in that painting, and we are pictured. Well, we're not, but it is drawn in such a way, not drawn, written, where we go and sit at the table. Part of God's joy is our joining that table. That's what makes it complete for God and for us. [00:22:53] Speaker B: I like that. You could play with that. [00:22:54] Speaker A: Yeah. All right, let's go on to acts 115 to 17 and 21 to 26. Now, this lectionary. So it's just after the ascension in acts before Pentecost. And as we said, there's a couple of verses missing here, which is what happens to poor old Judas. I say, that's gross. [00:23:19] Speaker B: It is disgusting. Yeah. And this is one of several. So, I mean, we're now going to talk about bits that aren't in the lectionary, but they're interesting. Verses 18 to 20 are left out, and probably because they are pretty violent. [00:23:31] Speaker A: But his bowels gushed out. [00:23:33] Speaker B: Yeah. In acts, we have Judas buying money, buying a field with the money he got for betraying Jesus and then somehow falling into a pit or something and having his whole guts gush out and dying of this gruesome death. And it's seen as some kind of punishment. In Matthew, there's a reference to Judas actually taking his own life. And then the other gospels are just a bit quiet about it. John in the bit we didn't dwell on. But back in John 17, there's this passing allusion to him as the one already destined for destruction. So we're starting to see early christians grappling with what it meant that one of the twelve Jesus chose turned out to be such a bad egg, as we said, australia not wanting to ridicule it, but like, this is obviously a problem for them, that Jesus chose him and yet he could still betray him so badly. And so in acts, what we're going to get in Peter's speech is actually some creative biblical exegesis where he's going to pick sort of phrases from a couple of different psalms to cobble together a narrative saying that basically Judas was, it was preordained that someone would do this. And so it's all part of God's plan. So it's okay, don't freak out, folks. [00:24:51] Speaker A: And because of my reading recently of Andrew Root, I would also say not only that I do creative exegesis, they are doing some fairly hearty church administration to fix the problem. [00:25:02] Speaker B: Yes, they are. [00:25:04] Speaker A: So my reading is because I was reading when the church stops working in a couple of other, one other of Andrew Root's books. And he, I won't go into his huge argument. He wants to emphasise, as we've already alluded, that the real church, it started out scared and uncertain, that what we have in acts two is a dream and an aspiration in one sense. And that he also wants to say that it's called the acts of the apostles. And because Andrew wants to emphasize that the Holy Spirit is that or whom drives us should be called the acts of the spirit, of the spirit. And he emphasizes that what's, you know, what's the first thing the disciples are asked to do in this crisis, not this immediate crisis of Jesus, but the absence of Jesus, and that is to stay in Jerusalem and wait. What does it mean for the church to wait? Now, that's his whole project, like innovation, is getting us nowhere much. It's making us tired and deflated, et cetera. So he wants to look at, well, what does it mean to wait? And he reading acts, and I'm stepping back a bit here, obviously, as he is, that we managed to do that as a church. The disciples manage for a short while to wait and then they get anxious and they say, right, we need to find two and choose one of them, and then we'll be back to where we're back where we should be. We've got the twelve and we can just press on, get on back on track. And what Andrew points out, that is that, okay, so they find Matthias and we do not hear from him. [00:26:39] Speaker B: Again, no, he disappears from this tradition. [00:26:42] Speaker A: When Paul, Saul, Saul is called at chapter nine, the disciples are nowhere to be seen. It is the Holy Spirit entirely, we presume, acting on this encounter. So I'm really, although this is a funny, fragmented story, and yes, it provides a logic around what we do about Judas, but I'm quite captivated by that picture that root presents about what's happening in the church and what that says for us. [00:27:10] Speaker B: Yeah, no, that's really helpful. And I think it's a reminder that this little story needs to always be, you know, like all preaching, we're putting the particularity of the bit of text we've got in conversation with the whole large narrative of, in this case, acts or of God's plan, really. [00:27:29] Speaker A: He will say just to, he says it's not an inactive thing, it's a waiting is active and it's responsive to God and it's fulsome. And he goes into a lot of ways that's the case. [00:27:42] Speaker B: Well, I'm glad he says that because I was going to point that out, I think, in the text, so that they are in Jerusalem, they've been told explicitly by Jesus before he leaves to wait because I'm sending the spirit. So they're following instructions, but they are, we're told in verse 14, they're constantly devoting themselves to prayer, they're meeting together, and even though when it comes to choosing the twelve, they seem to only consider some men, but the women are mentioned there, that they're part of this community, waiting and praying and meeting together. [00:28:16] Speaker A: Part of the 120, presumably. [00:28:18] Speaker B: Yes. Yeah. A much larger group. So there is a sense of. Yeah, the act of waiting is still gathering in community, and we assume they'd be reading their scriptures. Right. And praying. So it is an act of waiting. What else do we want to say? [00:28:34] Speaker A: Well, Jennings also talks about the logic of waiting. He's quite different in his approach, but I'm not as across that so much. But he talks about what we have here is Peter's opinion of what should happen to Judas or what, and that it's not actually the last word of what happens to Judas, it's Jesus has that last word. And he wants, Jennings wants to put that distinction between the divine opinion and Peter's. [00:29:01] Speaker B: The other thing is, and I'm not suggesting that when we read these descriptions of how they chose a new leader, that these are somehow prescriptive and therefore how we should choose leaders. But again, there's some wisdom here. It can look at a quick reading like they lots we get to that last line. Like they just almost gambled, they flipped a coin for which one. But actually, if you follow the narrative, we've got a logic here of Peter telling a story and an analysis of the need. And yes, I take Andrew Root's point that there is a very human, like, we've got to replace this guy. But symbolically, too. What Luke's doing here with the twelve is this is a kind of a full restoration of the twelve tribes of Israel. So twelve is important. [00:29:46] Speaker A: Yes. And he does talk a lot about nationalism, the old ways of nationalism being broken by the spirit into a whole new reality. And he's very. He emphasises that strongly, which is so. [00:30:00] Speaker B: Important in the american context, increasingly in ours and in acts. Of course, that would be embodied by Paul's mission to the Gentiles. But so there's this analysis of need, there's this discernment of suitability, and there is a certain criteria, like in verse 22, they want someone, or 21, they look at the men who've accompanied them from the time Jesus went in and among us, so they want someone. There's a connection to the historical Jesus and that was with us until the day he was taken up. In other words, they witnessed the resurrection. And this is setting us up for a theme in acts right here at the end of Easter, we return back to very early, which is their primary witness is to the resurrection, not to the cross, to the resurrection. That's the point of life and vindication and God's activity. And then they pray. And this casting of lots, it's a reference possibly to a sort of pebble that could be used in a game of lots, like a game of chance, but could also be used in voting. So I'm not wanting to rescue the text here and saying they didn't do some sort of flipping of a coin, but it's also possible that the casting of lots is a casting their pebbles and it's actually just a voting procedure. [00:31:13] Speaker A: Well, presumably the two candidates fulfill that prior. [00:31:19] Speaker B: Yes, both Matthias. And so it's pragmatism to the chucking. [00:31:23] Speaker A: Of the stones, to put it colloquially. [00:31:25] Speaker B: And a sort of assumption, a theological assumption that, you know, and we get this casting a lot throughout the bible that, you know, because God has a plan, the lots will fall as God wants them to. You know, it is a bit like trusting it up to God in a. [00:31:40] Speaker A: But then Matthias. Okay, you witnessed the resurrection, but yeah. [00:31:44] Speaker B: Like you said, we don't hear from him again. So. [00:31:47] Speaker A: So I think it's just pause for us to. Perhaps again, I've used the phrase before, sit lightly to our procedures and our ideas of how it should all be set up. [00:31:58] Speaker B: Well, there's a. Yeah, again, there's a sermon in that. [00:32:01] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. I think that's all for this week. [00:32:08] Speaker B: By the well is brought to you by Pilgrim Theological College and the Uniting church in Australia. It's produced by Adrian Jackson. Thanks for listening.

Other Episodes