Our readings point not to the beginning of things but to the end. Matthew writes about the end of time. He leans into our primal fears; the fear of being snatched away and the fear of being left behind. The evangelist doesn’t tell us whether we should hope to be taken away or we should pray to be left behind. That hasn’t stopped theologians and others from deciding that Matthew described rapture in which the virtuous would be swept away to a new heaven and a new earth. Most of the first hearers of Matthew’s Gospel would have encountered the story of Jesus the way we are experiencing it. They would not have started with the birth of the Christ. They would have been struggling to understand the death and resurrection. It is fitting for us to meet the story of Jesus and the proclamation of this evangel in thee same way.
Booklet Evening Prayer Sunday November 27 2022