Today’s Reading: Acts 20b-21 (NIV)
20b and, “’May another take his place of leadership.’” 21 [Peter said,] Therefore, it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
The sign on the front window said, “Replacement needed - apply within.” I turned the brass door knob and pulled on the heavy plate-glass door. I took a step of faith and used all my physical strength just to open the heavy door. Once inside, I stood staring into an open reception area, sparely decorated. I immediately noticed the stark white walls and Linoleum flooring. As I walked, I could hear the echo of my shoe heels clicking across the room. There were no chairs to sit down; no standard office decor like magazine racks or coffee tables. The natural light streaming in through the large front window was the only light inside. The entry way was spotless. I walked toward the front counter and rang the polished silver bell. A pretty little girl with golden curly hair tied with a satin white bow, appeared out of nowhere. When she reached the front desk, she stepped up on a footstool so that she could see over the top of the clean counter. “May I help you?” she asked. I thought the child looked strangely familiar, although I could not put a name with her face.
“Good morning, Miss,” I said, smiling. She stared at me. “I would like to inquire about the replacement needed sign posted in your front window.” “What are your qualifications?” she asked. I wasn’t sure exactly how to respond to her question. The sign did not detail the type of replacement needed, nor was I certain about the requirements of the open position. “Miss, I have been looking for a long, long time to find the one thing I know I am supposed to do with my life. I’m not exactly sure about the replacement position you are offering, or whether I would have any qualifications that would fit your need. I was drawn inside simply out of sheer curiosity, and it took a leap of faith for me to see whether you could use someone like me. What specific replacement help do you need?”
The little girl’s lip began to quiver, ever so slightly. I could see the crocodile tears welling up inside her big blue eyes. I fumbled for a tissue inside my black bag, and handed it to her, wondering if I had said something to upset her. “We’ve been waiting for you to come inside,” she whispered. “The qualifications necessary for the replacement position requires a willing heart. You must possess a deep desire to grow, and enough faith to open really heavy doors and the courage to walk through them.” By this time, the sunlight had filled the front room and had formed a blinding white puddle on the Linoleum flooring. Its brilliance caught the corner of my eye and I glanced away to look at it. When my gaze returned to the child, instinctively I knew her. She stood there on the footstool, clutching a baby doll in her arms. Standing beside her was my Lord and Savior; and it was His light that filled the dark room. He had wrapped his arms around the child’s shoulders, holding her steady on the footstool. I couldn’t take my eyes off of His face. And in that holy moment I recognized that the child in me. I knew I had found my life's work here.
Peter was looking for a suitable replacement disciple, someone who had experienced the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He would become a living witness to the Resurrection power.
What qualifications must you possess to be a living witness for Jesus Christ? You must have a willing heart, a deep desire to grow, and enough faith to open really heavy doors and the courage to walk through them. Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart today? If so, there is an open replacement position that only you can fill, and the Master is waiting for you to apply within right now.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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