November 17

November 17

Peter — Ascension & New Apostle — Promises about Jesus’ return & prophecies about Judas.

Today’s Readings:
Reading 1: Acts 1
Reading 2: Luke 21:25-28
Reading 3: Psalm 109

The time for Jesus to remain on earth after the resurrection was long enough to prove the resurrection, but short enough to ensure that the next stage of God’s story is not delayed. Jesus gives final instructions to wait for power and be witnesses, then¬†ascends to the Father. Again two angels (maybe the same two seen earlier at the empty tomb) have to nudge the disciples to move forward into the next chapter of this story.

Peter is already emerging as the main leader of this group, after His experience of being restored by Jesus. He leads them to choose a new apostle to replace Judas, continuing the symbolism of Jesus choosing twelve “patriarchs” for the Church reflecting the twelve tribes of Israel. Peter refers back to Psalm 109 to support his actions.

This selection of men does not mean the leadership of the Church was all-male: the first apostles (meaning “sent ones”) were the women sent to evangelize the disciples after the resurrection, and we will see plenty more women in leadership as we read through the book of Acts!

For today, consider your greatest failure – it was not as great as Peter’s denial of Jesus, but Peter was fully restored to lead the early Church. Your failures do not disqualify you, but God’s Word restores you.

Have a great day!