I used to love watching the “Previously, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer” shorts. I liked to marvel at the creative cutting that was required to catch an audience up-to-speed with minimal exposition. I also used to enjoy trying to guess what was coming up based on the characters and events that the editor selected to focus on.
Acts 1 seems rather similar. Theophilus is addressed again and the most recent events before Jesus’ ascension are recounted in moderate detail. The extra detail was appreciated by me, perhaps I was rushing through Luke but I wasn’t certain what had happened to Judas. I appreciate their joy at Christs’ ascension but there is a hanging question, “What about the guy that betrayed him?”
Verse 15 seems to give a good indication of the consternation that Judas’ actions caused, it was only decided “during these days” that the “Scripture had to be fulfilled”. The element of time passing suggests to me that there were many terse conversations and confused people. After all, Judas had been in the presence of Jesus. Not only that but he was privy to him in an intimate way which I, and I’m sure many other Christians, can only dream off. He even cast out demons in Jesus’ name and preached the Good News. Yet he turned his back on Jesus.
Last night, at church, my minister made a strong point on this fact. Namely, that you can attend the congregation, say the words, and still have your heart distant from Christ. I feel like this would be a good summation of my faith until moderately recently. I had desaturated so that, whilst the picture was still clear, there was little vibrancy or spark. Now this is not to infer you need to be emotional to follow God. Nor that if you feel distant you are at risk of acting like Judas. Rather, I can openly acknowledge that, for a time, my heart wasn’t in it and I was operating as an empty shell in church.
I’m glad that things are changing.