April 11 | Matthew 28:16-20
by Dan Kidd
The West Wing has long been one of my favorite shows. The writing is impeccable, and the characters are rich and magnetic. And one of the catch phrases--so to speak--of the show comes from Martin Sheen playing President Bartlet who, after concluding another instance of some massive accomplishment or failure, some years'-long initiative, or weathering another crisis would simply say to his staff, "What's next?" Because, truth be told, there's always something to attend to next.
With today's passage, we conclude the Gospel of Matthew. We are now on the other side of Easter Sunday. Monday has come and gone and we are no doubt back into the normalcies of days in and days out. Christ did for us so much while it was still dark; he rose from the grave, defeating sin, death, and the devil all in the dawn of the morning--all while it was still dark. And, though we sang joyfully the anthems of Christ's resurrection victory on Sunday, we might be tempted to think those Gospel truths make too little difference in the world outside of the church walls, on the the days of the week that don't begin with Sun. In fact, we might be tempted to think that Easter isn't actually as profound, as consequential, as we treated it on Sunday.
But Matthew concludes his Gospel not only with Jesus' resurrection, but with his return to his disciples, meeting them again in Galilee (because he told them so, and Jesus is faithful to his word). There, in Galilee, the disciples saw again, with their own eyes, the risen Jesus and they fell to the ground to worship him, even as some of them still doubted him. In the authority of all of earth and all of heaven, he commiss