Category Archives: Gospel of Matthew

Who are the Goats? Who is the King?

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It seems that the beloved community has been broken for some time

and that history repeats itself

and that there are more goats stubbornly meandering about

because they refuse to open wide and make room at the Table

for those whom they feel do not reflect an essential, equal part of humanity

Do we not see etched in the cross,

the glory of God

who has the power to transform those lines of division

into crossroads

where we come as beloved people of God

united in a death

that was shattered

because of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made

for all of Creation?

 We have not learned from our mistakes-

We refuse to see through the hatred and the oppression we heap upon one another

on the peoples of the world

Simply because they do not conform

or buy into our interpretation of Scripture

that one tribe should have dominion over those we perceive as weak

that we cast them out into the darkness

not realizing

that they are not alone

Waiting for them there

is the risen Christ

who heals, who makes all things new

and loves those without question, unconditionally

Regardless of their skin, their language or their journey

Perhaps one day we can stop having displays such as these

because one day, we will truly be united

as the Beloved Community.

God’s Peace

 

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Preach It, Sister!

Miho

What does the Reformation mean to our community anyway?

Thursdays in Chapel are the days when Senior M.Div’ers brave the meaning of community by sharing how the Gospel

speaks to who they are, especially as Seminarians.

And Miho did that so eloquently, and so full of humor..

“It was already Sunday afternoon, and I still had a blank page on my computer screen. 

You know what I am talking about.  Due dates and assignments. 

And somehow we have to complete the assignment often at the last minute. 

Friends, this is called seminary life.”

If you weren’t laughing at that moment, you just obviously did not understand..

“Panic, feeling overwhelmed, and frustration.”

One of the Middlers next to me called out encouragingly, “Preach it Sista!” 

” I was stuck and mumbling the question: What is Reformation to me? 

As a long-time seminary student,

I cried out to God,

“Help me Jesus, send me the active Spirit which stirred Luther in 1517, RIGHT NOW.”  “

Luther is still holding us to the task of challenging the wider Church

The wider Church is asking, struggling, journeying about how we, those who are called to be

Preachers

Teachers

Leaders

Can create sacred spaces so that those outside our community feel as welcomed

and share with us too, how the Good News impacts

revitalizes

renews

Re-forms their own lives

and how they impart their own wisdom

empowered by the Holy Spirit

to encourage who we have been called to be.

All human beings, regardless of age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status,

every human being has sinned and falls short of the glory of God. 

 Luther knew his limitations and brokenness,

so when the scripture spoke to him,

“all human beings are now justified by God’s grace as a gift,

through redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood”

 he was relieved. 

God, incarnate in Christ Jesus, took care of our salvation so that we do not need to be frustrated or stuck.”

Sometimes, hearing the Word Proclaimed through pretty awesome classmates, reminds us

that this is one portion of our journey.

and that God, Our Creator manifests and fulfills God’s mission

in so many diverse and beautiful ways.

Thanks Miho for your Word.

Excerpts from “Salvation is not for Sale” preached by Miho Yasukawa, M.Div Senior


Broader Perspectives on The Gospel of Matthew: The LWF Consultation

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Marie Sager is a senior Master of Divinity student, interesting in sharing the love of God with all she meets, interfaith dialogue, global ministry, and decorating cupcakes. The LWF Conference continues to dwell with many of our students and Marie shares her insight!

The first week of class, LSTC was host to an extraordinary event, the Lutheran World Federation Consultation on Lutheran Hermeneutics and the Gospel of Matthew. As part of my Matthew and the Global Hermeneutics class I was able to sit in on multiple papers, from presenters from all around the world.

Many of the papers presented discussed the distinction between law and gospel and made reference to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). One paper that I found helpful in talking about law and gospel, was the paper presented by Mark Allen Powell, “Gospel of Matthew: Implications for Hermeneutics.” Powell talked about how in preaching, the Word must be proclaimed, both the law and gospel. However, law and gospel are not “genres of biblical literature.”[1] The law is not just commandments and the gospel is not just promises, but law and gospel are ways that the word of God impacts its hearers.[2] Lastly, Powell said that preachers should proclaim the word in terms of law and gospel, but exegesis should not always be in terms of law and gospel.[3]

Another paper that caught my attention was by James Reynolds, “Healing in the Gospel of Matthew and Africa.” As someone who has spent time in Tanzania, Africa, this paper was interesting because of the discussion regarding what a healer is in Africa and what a healer is in the Gospel of Matthew. Reynolds described a healer in Africa as a herbalist, medicine man/woman, and a traditional doctor.[4] However, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is the only healer.[5] The distinction between begin able to  heal versus cure has consistently intrigued me. Does it for you too? What about healing versus using magic? Reynolds said that in Africa, most of the healings are done using physical materials like clay, herbs, and leaves of trees.[6]

The final paper I resonated with was by Joseph Dayam. Dayam’s paper “A Theology of the Cross and the Passion in Mathew: An Indian Dalit Perspective” resonated with me because of the lyrics that were presented, and because of my time spent in India in January of 2013 with a class from LSTC. One of the main things that I took away from Dayam’s presentation was that people express their lives in song. I agree with this statement, and while I was on internship last year, I tried to integrate songs that I love that express my faith while still including songs that the people of my internship site related to.

Lastly, I am grateful to be a student at LSTC. It continues to amaze me at how many different events LSTC either hosts or suggests students to attend that are interfaith, ecumenical, or multicultural. The LWF event was one of these. As said before, there were participants from all around the world, and even a few Jewish scholars. That begin said, if you The Window readers ever get a chance to attend a LWF event, do it!

[1] Mark Allen Powell, “Gospel of Matthew: Implications for Hermeneutics,” 5.

[2] Powell, 6.

[3] Powell, 13.

[4] James Reynolds, “Healing in the Gospel of Matthew and Africa,” 6.

[5] Reynolds, 4.

[6] Reynolds, 6.