Scripture: Acts 1:21 (Peter said to his fellow apostles) So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23 So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
Observation: When I read the gospels I get the impression that the only persons who were continually with Jesus were the 12 disciples – who later became apostles once Jesus ascended to God the Father. Yet v. 21 above indicates there were others who were present “from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us”. If this is true, these persons saw everything – and yet we know almost nothing about them.
Application: I’m a pastor in a local church, so the things that I do and say and write within the context of the church are fairly well known. I don’t operate in the shadows but in public view much of the time. However, there are many others who labor behind the scenes. They are invaluable. Combined, they do far more to advance the Kingdom of God than our pastors and other key staff – and it’s not close. That said, most of these folks prefer to work unseen. They’re not public people, and that’s just fine.
Our passage for today reminds me that such people have been crucial to the ministry of the gospel since the very earliest days of the church. In fact, I’m guessing some of you reading this blog post fit into that category. You work hard, serve faithfully, give much, but few people know what you do. This morning I want to say thank you for your faithfulness. You may not receive accolades from other persons on earth, but I can assure you the angels of heaven cheer you on each and every day.
Prayer: Gracious God, today we offer our thanks and praise for the many people who serve you in powerful ways that few know about. They operate somewhat in the shadows, yet without them the entire church would come to a screeching halt. Give them an extra measure of your grace to continue giving their best day in and day out. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.