Friday in the Seventh Week of Easter

Text: Matthew 9:9-17

Prayer Pointers:

For trust in Christ, who loves you

For husbands and wives

For loved ones separated by the pandemic

As Matthew’s story continues, we read about the calling of Matthew, the tax collector, and the indignation of the Pharisees when they discover that Jesus is a companion—a word derived from a Latin phrase meaning “with bread’—of sinners. In short, he shares a table with those who do not deserve the privilege.

Paul echoes this language of sharing in Ephesians, when he describes in chapter 5 how Christ “gives himself” to us. Christ shares what he has and what he is with us, who, to rephrase Luther, have nothing but our sins to offer in return. This is the wonder of the relationship we have with Jesus, who gladly exchanges who and what we are with who and what he is. Luther again: “God does not save fictitious sinners… sin boldly, but believe and rejoice more boldly still in Christ, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world.”

The bridegroom is here, and he is so glad to see you, his companion, his dear friend, his beloved. Whenever you are tempted to look at yourself and be angry or sad or despondent about the state of your soul, look at Jesus, and remember that if he, who is holy, can look at you and be delighted, then maybe you should be more gentle with yourself too.

Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


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