Week One - Feast of St. Matthias
William R. “Mac” McKenney
Best Advice Received
Acts 1:15-26; John 15:1,6-16
February 24, 2023 is celebrated as the Feast of St. Matthias in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions. Growing up in a church where playing cards was discouraged because the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ garments, I was more than a little confused to learn that Matthias was chosen by lot to succeed Judas as one of the original apostles. We don’t know much about him. He may have been confused with Nathanael in John’s Gospel, and he isn’t mentioned at all in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. I have often wondered whether he felt like a second-string apostle.
If you were ever the last to be chosen when picking sides for a game or noticed that you got fewer valentines than a popular classmate or even had to sit on the hump in the back seat of the car, you may have felt like a second stringer. But in a world that valued wealth, prestige, and power, Jesus sought to break down hierarchies and privilege. In his Farewell Discourse he told his disciples, “I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends.” (John 15:15 CEB) And he washed their feet.
In 1929, Blind Alfred Reed wrote a song about heaven called, “There’ll Be No Distinction There.” The title says it all. If we pray “thy kingdom come…on earth as it is in heaven,” it falls to each of us to break down hierarchies, privilege, and distinction—here and now.
Reflection Prompt: What are the hierarchies in our culture today? In our faith communities? What are the privileges that I enjoy at the expense of others? How can I stand in solidarity with those who are treated as second string? What can I do to break down barriers and distinctions?