Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Today, September 21, 2020 is when the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. This post is devoted to one of the Feast Days that the historic Christian Church observed that are generally neglected today. I pray that you find this message beneficial in your devotions this or another day.
“Saint Matthew, also known as Levi, identifies himself as a former tax collector, one who was therefore considered unclean, a public sinner, outcast from the Jews. Yet it was such a one as this whom the Lord Jesus called away from his occupation and wealth to become a disciple (Matthew 9:9-13). Not only did Matthew become a disciple of Jesus, he was also called and sent as one of the Lord’s twelve apostles (Matthew 10:2-4). In time, he became the evangelist whose inspired record of the Gospel was granted first place in the ordering of the New Testament. Among the four Gospels, Matthew’s portrays Christ especially as the new and greater Moses, who graciously fulfills the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17) and establishes a new covenant of salvation in and with His own blood (Matthew 26:27-28). Matthew’s Gospel is also well-known and beloved for its record of the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12); for the Sermon on the Mount, including the Beatitudes and the Our Father (Matthew 5–7); and for the institution of Holy Baptism and the most explicit revelation of the Holy Trinity (Matthew 28:16-20). Tradition is uncertain where his final field of labor was and whether Matthew died naturally or a martyr’s death. In celebrating this festival, we therefore give thanks to God that He has mightily governed and protected His Holy Church through this man who was called and sent by Christ to serve the sheep of His pastures with the Holy Gospel.” 1
The verse or theme for this feast is “Alleluia. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Alleluia.” It is from Matthew 28:19-20.
Old Testament Ezekiel 2:8–3:11
Epistle Ephesians 4:7–16
Gospel Matthew 9:9–13
The hymn appointed for this day is “What Is the World to Me” as found on page 730 in the Lutheran Service Book. You may listen to the hymn at the link direct below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ggXnsiQ5Bs
Collect of the Day:
O son of God, our blessed Savior Jesus Christ, You called Matthew, the tax collector to be an apostle and evangelist. Through his faithful and inspired witness, grant that we also may follow You, leaving behind all covetous desires and love of riches; for You live and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Jim Tuell
1 Treasury of Daily Prayer, Scot A Kinnaman, General Editor, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, MO., 2008, 743-744.