Content related to Matthew

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The Weapons of our Warfare

The first verse of our reading is rather shocking if you think about it. “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.” We don’t usually think of temptation as a spiritual exercise. Jesus had just been baptized. In his baptism, Jesus had taken his place with all the…

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Matthew 5:13-20

Epiphany 5A

When the water in the Dead Sea evaporates, it leaves behind both salt and a mineral that looks a like salt, gypsum. Obviously, gypsum doesn’t have any of the qualities of salt (like saltiness) and it has different uses than salt. But as the saying implies, if it walks like a duck, it isn’t odd…

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Matthew 5:1-12

Epiphany 4A

According to Matthew, this isn’t Jesus’s first sermon, but it is the first one that Matthew records. Jesus is in Galilee, preaching, teaching, and healing, and drawing crowds from all over—mostly of the sick and those in need of healing. Imagine the people and their needs that Jesus has encountered—both those who he healed, and…

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Easter: Soar We Now

Anyone who has ever taken a class in physics may remember Newton’s laws of motion. Even if you’ve never taken physics or specifically had to memorize Newton’s laws, you’re probably familiar with the basics. One law is the simple observation that an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless some outside force acts…

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Palm Sunday: Salvation’s Hospitality

In the summer of 1991 my wife and I spent some time traveling in Germany. One of our stops was a two-day visit to a pastor and his wife in Wittenberg. At that time, the fall of the Berlin Wall was still a very recent event. What had been the communist-dominated East Germany was still…

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Matthew 4:12-23

Epiphany 3A

Depending on what you preached last week, these two weeks of Lectionary passages from different gospels may leave you with some explaining to do—particularly if you made a big deal about the calling narrative of Andrew and Peter last week! For here we are again, in a new geographical setting, hearing about them becoming disciples…

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Matthew 3:13-17

Epiphany 1A

In the early third century church, it was the baptism of Jesus that focused the Epiphany celebration, not the visit of the Magi. In fact, Epiphany was included with Easter and Pentecost as the major Christian festivals marked by the Church (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church). In the fourth century, Epiphany came to…

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Matthew 2:13-23

Christmas 1A

Comments, Questions, and Observations This story is the Magi’s quick appearance in Year A—they are the ones who have just left in verse 13.  Our little family is at the center of an evil maelstrom, plucked out by Joseph’s willingness to continue to be obedient to the Lord’s messenger angel. The journey the angel commands…

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Matthew 1:18-25

Advent 4A

Comments, Questions, and Observations Oddly, we close out Advent this year with the birthing story. Matthew’s birth narrative doesn’t usually get much attention on Christmas day because it’s rather anti-climactic in comparison to the Luke’s—our tried and true Christmas story. As I discuss in the textual points section below, we don’t even get the actual…

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Matthew 11:2-11

Advent 3A

Comments, Questions and Observations We are a far cry from last week’s gospel lectionary text. Then, John was fire and brimstone, calling out the people of God, baptizing and supporting people’s repentance work. Now, months later in the gospel timeline, John is in a prison-cave cell at Herod Antipas’ Machaerus fortress—itself in the wilderness land…

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