July 1, 2020
Matthew concludes his co-missioning of the disciples with a final encouragement in these last verses. He likens the disciples to his righteous ones, prophets, and “little ones.” In the triad of images, describes even us as we continue the work of Christ in the world. Through these images, we understand that the efficacy of our mission work, nor how it is perceived, is not the important thing. What is important is who we are when we are doing the work. We are God’s righteous, prophets who represent and speak for God, and we are vulnerable and fragile, like children.
Our society is having difficulty. We know it and we do not know what to do about it. We are all having difficulty navigating the deep waters of racism (what is and is not racist), the proper role of civil disobedience, and the deep emotion that is surrounding everything that we cannot understand fully. And, then, even when we try, we cannot quite reconcile things in our own minds to move forward. It is exhausting and time-consuming, and difficult.
There is an ancient story in the Midrash (the Hebrew commentary on the Holy Writings), that says each person has a band of angels going before him or her proclaiming, “Make way! Make way! Here comes an image of God!”
Imagine your band of angels going before you, declaring YOU as the very image of God. If each of us would see each person with their band of angels going before them yelling, “Make way! Make way! Here comes an image of Christ!” – if we could see each person like that – we would be doing the mission of Jesus Christ in the world.