Friday, September 21, 2007

The Feast of St. Matthew

When Jesus passed by Matthew's tax collection booth and said, "Follow me," Matthew promptly quit his job, got up and followed Jesus. Later that day there was a big party at Matthew's house as he celebrated his new life. This brought on one of the most common complaints about Jesus: "This man welcomes tax collectors and sinners and eats with them."

Matthew's Gospel is preacher's paradise. In it we find a birth narrative and genealogy of Jesus. In it we have the longer version of the Sermon on the Mount, which contains the Beatitudes and the "Lord's Prayer." Matthew gives us wonderful parables about the Kingdom of Heaven - usually beginning with "The Kingdom of Heaven is like. . ." Matthew's lengthy description of the arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus has been set to some amazing classical music.

Matthew's Gospel was not the first Gospel to be written, but it is thorough and satisfying to read. Beginning in December I get to preach out of it almost every Sunday. I get to take a closer look at some of the tax collectors and sinners with whom Jesus ate, including Matthew himself.

In peace,
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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