Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot,
a horde of names
crawl up the screen
as credits roll
most folks get up and leave
without a brief honoring
of what it took to produce today
since this is an old production
we early see support people
in scenes brought to you by The Twelve
in the silent a rock logo is used
in the talkies rolling thunder signifies
in days to come an event horizon will do
do note no animals were harmed
by those whose story was shown
be ready for the post-credit Easter Egg
through our work we find a place
where our name is known and noted
thank you for being the best you
There are many tangled webs here as we listen in to this list and compare it with other lists. Perhaps we can let it lie lightly with an understanding that followers of Jesus come with a variety of gifts appropriate for particular times.
The different lists reveal a very diverse second circle beyond Peter, James, and John—one that includes women and expands in each generation. Each list is accurate in its time and place. The gifts needed for the well-being of the whole shift over time. To get caught insisting one list has it over all the others is to fall prey to a misplaced sense of order and hierarchy.
Those only heard of once played their important part, alongside those mentioned twice, thrice, or more. This leaves plenty of room for current lists of followers to also be more open than simply the official leaders in a given moment. This would also have an impact on those who would legislate the absence of leaders because of one characteristic or another (gender, race, orientation to start the list).
It is worth spending time with a good dictionary of the bible to review this list, knowing that it is but the tip of a few selected in accord with the tenor of the times (patriarchy). The very anonymity of some may give permission in our day to acknowledge our blind-spots when it comes to the many gifts needed at any given time and in any given circumstance. Many disciples; many expressions of a living spirit moving where it will.