“Matthew writes this
Gospel in the early church period when the church is predominantly Jewish. Matthew frequently cites passages from the
Old Testament that are fulfilled in the coming of Jesus the Messiah, a
watershed event in the long tradition of ancient Judaism. Matthew’s intent is that those who read his
Gospel, whether Jews or Gentiles, will see themselves as participants in the
grand sweep of God’s purposes in history. The coming of Jesus, says Matthew, is the culmination of all our
waiting” (Gary Thomas, “Promises That Come True,” in The Spiritual Formation Bible (Grand Rapids; Zondervan:
You are invited to read
Matthew’s Gospel anticipating Jesus’ coming to you. Jesus was named by Joseph “Emmanuel – God is
with us” and he is still with us. Bring
your troubles, trials, tribulations; your praises, thanksgivings, and
celebrations to the One who promises to be with us always. Come and be filled with the power of Jesus’
presence so that you might be used to fulfill God’s purposes in history. Richard Blanchard, a United Methodist pastor,
said it this way in 1958:
my cup, Lord; I lift it up, Lord.
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more;
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.
May you cup be filled,
your thirsting soul quenched, your hungry heart fed, and may you be made whole
in Jesus Christ
Each week you will find
four readings. Use the journaling
questions to prompt your thinking. You
may also want to be led in your journaling by the acronym SOAP. In doing this you are invited to center of
one verse in the SCRIPTURE reading that catch’s your attention (write it
down). Then you should OBSERVE the verse
in its context (and make your notes about the journal). Then APPLY the lesson from God to your
life. Finally, PRAY to God to bring this
lesson to fruition in your life today.
The authors for this devotional journey also include Jay Bissette pastor of Bascom Chapel and Page Memorial UMCs, Doug Lain pastor of Salem UMC, and Gregg Presnall pastor of Vass and Cameron UMCs. Together we are part of a larger journey with the Wellspring Colleague Forum of the North Carolina Annual Conference.