May 16, 2021

The Ordinary People With the Extraordinary Gospel

Pastor KJ Kim

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

In today’s passage, the disciples got together to choose Judas’s replacement among the two candidates—Matthias and Justus. These two were found to meet the criteria as spoken by Peter, but only one would be selected.

What we have read about the method for choosing Judas’s replacement seems odd enough. Tossing the dice, is it really the best way to choose their important leader?

The scripture is silent about whether they flipped a coin, denarius; whether God somehow guided the result of the chance game. Matthias became part of the inner circle; the other was not there because he lost the toss of the dice.

Can we imagine how Justus must have felt when his lot was not drawn? The world may have a tendency to remember only the first. It is not surprising that the winner gets all and is recognized.

I am grateful for the fact that we know the name of the runner-up. Justus, called Barsabbas, and also known as Joseph, was one of those amazing characters not merely because of what he did or did not accomplish, but because of the fact that he is named.

I have been thinking of who is today’s Justus in my faith journey.

I have been impressed by those who keep coming to the Senior Saints even though some people with the walker need more time to get in or out of their car.

I have been moved by those who keep going forward and taking other steps into tomorrow as they keep struggling with their long-time treatment.

And I have been thankful and grateful for all of you who have been more patient as you all are listening to a sermon from an Asian guy with a different accent. These are all signs of being and doing “church” these days.

The message of Easter has been handed down to us not only through the twelve disciples, but also through the ordinary people like Justus who was not a winner.

The ordinary people have been carrying the extraordinary gospel from one generation to the next. And God in the passage calls us to carry this Easter message, the message of Jesus’s death and resurrection by naming those who are overlooked, undervalued, and underserved.

Let’s keep being an ordinary people who can carry the extraordinary message of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Let’s keep doing and being a church by recognizing unnamed, overlooked, and undervalued people.

Amen.