year-of-matthewThe year of Matthew, year A in the Revised Common Lectionary, is an opportunity for extended reflection on the Gospel of Matthew, the first of the New Testament gospel books. With 2017 marking the 500th anniversary of the dawn of a major reforming movement in the church, its message is particularly relevant.

Invite your congregation into a small or large group study that explores this gospel using historical, literary, Lutheran, and devotional perspectives.

Throughout history Matthew’s gospel has played a prominent role in Christian worship and practice, and to this day it retains a central place in most people’s experiences of the New Testament and the Christian faith.

Matthew’s gospel speaks well to church communities today, identifying the church as founded by Jesus and issuing practical instructions for practicing community. Matthew envisions the church as made up of sinners and doubters who struggle with faith, temptation, and forgiveness, but ultimately reflect the ministry and presence of Jesus.

Read as a whole, Matthew’s gospel is not simply a biography of Jesus or a collection of his teaching. It is a story that invites us to become disciples of Jesus: to learn from him, follow him, and enter into a living relationship with Jesus the Messiah.