November 20th used to be just another day, but from now on, I will always remember November 20th as the day that a gunman entered Strozier Library. The evening of November 20th, after a long day of contacting our students to make sure they were all right, Pastor Jay held a prayer service at University Lutheran. It was a marked reminder that in the tragedy, God was still with us. God still heard us. We were not alone.
In a similar way, Peter held a meeting in Jerusalem after the Ascension. It included those whom Peter referred to as “brothers” – the remaining 11 disciples, the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, Jesus’s brothers, and others. All told, the number of people was about 120. During this meeting, Peter remembered the loss of Judas, the twelfth disciple, who had betrayed Jesus and then committed suicide. Peter pointed out that it was said in the Psalms, “Let another take his office” (Acts 1:20). Although everyone was saddened by Judas’s betrayal, they were heartened by the appointing of Matthias to take his place.
Peter was assuring his brothers that despite the tragedy, God was still with them and God still heard them. They were not alone. In the same way, we also ought to assure one another of this promise in our times of need. We all experience tragedies, betrayals and heartbreak, but as brothers and sisters of Christ we can assure one another that God is still with us, God still hears us, and we are not alone.