Given by Rev. Madison Shockley May 16, 2021

Today’s reading is a fascinating story of how after Jesus’s death and resurrection, God’s plan would be carried out by the followers of the church. Jesus had picked twelve people to be the leaders of the church. There was a problem though. Judas was one of those chosen and had betrayed Jesus. He would need to be replaced. This story speak to three problems. First, how does a church go on after a tragedy? Second, how does a church chose new leadership, especially after a tragedy? Lastly, how does a leader lead a wounded church? These are touchy subjects but must be addressed occasionally. Even good people can fall. Each of us has a bit of a Judas inside us. The symbol of Judas is supposed to be a mirror of the church.  It reminds us that if we put ourselves ahead of the mission of the church, we are vulnerable to betraying the faith we hold. When we fall, we have a chance to repent. We can be restored. There is strength in being broken and healed. Do not give up. We must have faith. Not only can we survive, but we can thrive. Pilgrim is ready!