Presbyterians baptize children. In doing so we talk constantly about how God has CHOSEN us. It is God who chooses, God who directs, God who initiates our welcome to a new life, God who claims us in baptism as his own.
God choosing to be our God is a constant theme in the Bible.
Today in Luke, Jesus chooses the twelve disciples. Already our ears should perk up.
Jesus goes to the mountain to pray, spending the whole night in prayer. When day breaks, he calls all the disciples together and chooses from among them twelve, and he names those twelve apostles.
What has God chosen you for? What spiritual gifts intersect with the world’s needs, and where are you serving God’s kingdom? How are you a disciple?
There are a couple of details that jump out at me in this story. The first is the altering of the name from disciple to apostle. It becomes clear that those who are “apostles” have special spiritual gifts, perhaps for leadership. One can still be a disciple! There is no “NO” in this selection. Yes to some, and a double Yes to others.
Another curious element of this passage is its reliance on the sovereign judgment of God. This passage is very Presbyterian! In many non-Presbyterian churches the preaching these days focuses on how we have to “choose Jesus”. Time and time again, scripture attests to God choosing us. Being a Jew wasn’t something one chose, but something one was born with. “These are my people…this is my story.”
Here Jesus chooses. There is no indication of how or why, but we come to know why. They do not possess amazing integrity or character. They are not rich and do not particularly have deep connections in top places, able to get good underwriters for their ventures. No, they were ordinary men. They were much like you and me.
But God saw something special in them. Mass appeal. Future leadership potential. Ordinary folk from ordinary walks of life who could reach out to others. Whatever you want to call it. Heck, it could have been you and me. Oh my goodness….it is!
That is the good news in all of this: YOU TOO ARE CHOSEN BY GOD. To what I am not sure. But you are chosen and loved by God. The question is what are you going to do with it?