March 29, 2020

Today’s Matthew reflection by our Assistant Program Director, Angie Smith

Our Matthew readings over the next few days will take us into Holy Week and eventually into Easter. If you want to stick to the liturgical year instead of jumping ahead try reading some of what we have posted over on our daily devotional page.

Matthew 22:1-14

This is one of the stranger parables in Matthew. Verse thirteen is really unexpected. One could expect that the king will let the man stay regardless of what he is wearing. After all we have had a pattern where the last are the first and this man sure sounds like he’s last. But Jesus, ever determined to keep us on our toes, tells us that the king as the man violently removed from the feast. Salvation isn’t just for the nation of Israel, it extends to all of the Gentiles, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is saved; there’s no Universalism here.

I’m probably waxing a little Presbyterian here (that’s what happens when your best friends in seminary are Presbyterians), but we don’t know if we are saved. We trust in the promises of our baptisms. We also know that we can’t earn our salvation, because faith is gift. However, that doesn’t mean that we should sin in order that grace may abound (Romans 6:1).

We don’t know who is saved and who isn’t. We should live as if we are all saved and live as if our salvation depended on it (Lutherans love a good paradox). We don’t have to do anything, but we get to. We get to take care of the least of these and each other, I think that’s so much better than having to.