Rolling the dice
(Peter said), "So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 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.” So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. ~ Acts 1:21-26
What is it that Peter calls this band of brothers and sisters right now?
"Witnesses to the resurrection."
They have been called other things - disciples, apostles - but Peter calls them witnesses.
And their group isn't complete. They are expanding their ministry to go back to the number Jesus had started with them. And to do so, they do two things: pray and cast lots.
That's an interesting dichotomy. I'm trying to imagine a church council deciding this way.
Or a Church body choosing their future leaders this way.
Pray and cast lots. Or roll the dice.
Maybe sometimes the way we go about making our decisions isn't so far from casting lots or rolling the dice. I know there are times when I'm trying to discern a path and it feels as if it is nothing more than a gamble.
But for Peter, and for us, the starting place for any decision is prayer. Prayer that takes us out of the internal jibber-jabber in our head, and helps us focus on what God is calling us to do beyond.
This idea of casting lots might seem strange to us. Likely, some of how we make decisions will seem strange to future generations of Christians.
But we now, like then, begin with prayer, and then we go from there to live out as witnesses to the resurrected one.
Holy God, quiet my mind and heart so that I may discern your will. Amen.