How many of you have ever seen someone draw a name out of a hat to choose one person for something special? What are some reasons we might put names in a hat? Allow children to answer. Back in the time of Jesus they would sometimes draw names too. During that time, they believed that the God would help them choose the best name. We might draw names to pick someone to win a prize, or to choose someone to go first. In Jesus time they drew names to help them with really important decisions, like choosing a new apostle!
After Jesus died one of his special friends, Judas decided he didn’t want to be an apostle anymore. So the rest of Jesus’s friends had to choose a new apostle Let’s read to find out how they might have done that. Read Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. I find it very interesting to think about how Jesus’s friends might have chosen a new apostle. First they thought about what was important in a new apostle. What were some of the characteristics they felt an apostle needed to have? Allow children to answer that they wanted someone who was with Jesus from the time of his baptism and who saw Jesus alive again. Once they decided on what was important the thought of two people who both had the characteristics they were looking for and who were good and kind and tried hard to live in God’s way. But they still had to choose. So they drew a name.
In Jesus’s time they believed that there should be only 12 apostles. Do you remember what an apostle is? Allow children to answer if they can.That’s right, an apostle is a leader that help us live in God’s way. Do you think that if we counted up ALL the leaders in all the
churches that help us live in God’s way there would still be only 12? Pull out a hat with slips of paper in it. On each slip of paper should be written the word YOU. I’ve got a hat here, let’s see who God thinks should help people live in God’s way. Have several children draw slips of paper. God wants you, and you, and you, and you…God wants all of us to be an example of how to live. We don’t need to wait for someone to draw our name from a hat! We are all called to be a witness to living in God’s way!