From now until the Sunday after Easter (April 12), we will be reading from the Gospel According to Matthew. Here’s a brief introduction to Matthew, taken from the Connect Bible (NRSV, ©2012

What’s in a name?
Matthew was the name of one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. This Gospel was probably named after him as a way of showing us how important the book is. Matthew the disciple is not likely the author, however, because the Gospel of Matthew was probably written in about 80 CE (50 years after Jesus died and was raised).

Why was this written?
Matthew writes to declare Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament—the Torah and the Prophets. Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah who has come to redeem the people. The people who heard the message of this Gospel needed to hear how God was still actively continuing the promises of old.

What’s the connection?
Matthew relies heavily on Mark’s Gospel to tell the story of who Jesus the Messiah is. This Gospel also uses more quotes from the Old Testament than any other Gospel.  Matthew’s Gospel helps make a point about Jesus’ place in Jewish history. Matthew’s readers knew about the message of Israel’s prophets. Matthew helps his readers to see that Jesus is the one the prophets had spoken about and hoped for.

January 4 – Epiphany
Matthew 2:1-12 The Magi, visitors from foreign lands in the East, arrive in Jerusalem, seeking the newborn king of the Jews
Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper & Star Words 

January 11 – The Baptism of Jesus
Matthew 3:1-17 John the Baptist is introduced and Jesus is baptized by him
Reaffirmation of Baptism Service

January 18 – Tempted in the Wilderness
Matthew 4:1-17 Following his baptism, Jesus spends forty days and nights in the wilderness facing temptations from the devil. Afterwards, Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee.
Presentation of Bibles to Third Graders (tentative) 

January 25 – The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:1-20 In the opening words to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus tells about those who are blessed in the kingdom of God, as well as being salt of the earth and light for the world.
Annual Meeting of the Congregation follows… 

**Saturday, January 31 – The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:7-21 The Sermon on the Mount continues with instructions concerning prayer, fasting, and what real treasure is.
An Eat In, Sleep In Weekend—No Sunday Services February 1st!