And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he named apostles. Luke 6:13
Out of the hundreds of people following him, Jesus chose a limited number to be apostles. These twelve were the intimate ones to whom he would entrust his teachings and his purpose. They were a varied group of people, different in so many ways, yet necessary for the unity of the Kingdom.
Today, Christ chooses you to be his intimate partner in bringing the good news to the world. Your unique personality, skills and gifts are essential to the team! God needs you, he already has plenty of preachers and youth ministers, but you are the only you God’s got. You may think you don’t add much to the party; maybe James, son of Alphaeus, who was never mentioned again by name in the gospels, or Andrew, who stood in the shadow of his impulsive, flamboyant brother, Simon, felt the same way. But Simon would not have met Jesus if not for Andrew. (see John 1) Are you willing to remain anonymous for the sake of the Kingdom? Is it enough to know Jesus chooses you and uses you in quiet, unnoticed ways?
It could be that who you are and what you bring are an obvious benefit to the Kingdom of Christ. Perhaps, you’re a natural born leader, like Simon; or you bring a good mind and education, like Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael, See John 1); or you have wealth and status, like Matthew (aka Levi). These gifts and talents are useful only when they are submitted to Christ’s authority and contained by the power of the Holy Spirit. How many times did Simon put his foot in his mouth before he was transformed into Peter? What gifts/talents/skills are yours that need to be submitted to the authority of Christ? Do you trust the Spirit or your gifts?
Thomas Merton gives good advice about being part of God’s team for the sake of the Kingdom, “Therefore, if I trust in God’s grace I must also show confidence in the natural powers he has given me, not because they are my powers but because they are his gift.”
There will be people on the Kingdom team, with whom you have differing points of view or opinions. How well do you think Simon, known as the Zealot because he wanted to overthrow the oppressive Roman empire, got along with Matthew, the tax collector, who collaborated with Rome and benefited from the oppression it imposed upon the Jews? Maybe all they had in common was they were chosen by Jesus. How willing are you to set aside opposing beliefs for the sake of peace and unity within the Body of Christ?