Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Luke Chapter One

There were so many parts of this reading that I could have selected for my initial journal entry that it was difficult to choose which verses to use. I have a feeling it will be that way every day. The point is for you to pick whatever verse(s) you want to focus on for your journal. Feel free to comment about my entry or add something from yours in the comments.

Luke 1.1-80

Scripture: "I decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1.3-4)

This Gospel of Luke, as the other Gospels, was written so that the story of Jesus would be remembered, and so that Theophilus and all who read it would be assured of the things they had been told. The news of Jesus spread like wildfire throughout the Aramaic and Greek-speaking world, from the Jewish subculture to the larger Hellenistic culture. At the outset of the Gospel, it is good to remember that the original writer and readers were real people who faced real-life issues in their day which were not completely unlike the issues we face today. The story of Jesus made all the difference to them as they faced those challenges.

Application: People struggle to believe. If these who were only a generation removed from Jesus needed to read the story in order to be strengthened in their faith, how much more do I need to stay “in the story?” When I remove myself from the story I am removing the impact it can make in my life, and I am weaker because of it. Also, I must remember that others need to hear the story in order to believe, and the best way for the story to be passed on is from one person to another.

Jesus, as I read your story, the story that made all the difference to those who heard it so long ago, may it make all the difference in my life too. Help me to listen and learn so that I may face the challenges of today and tell the "good news" to others in a way that is true to your will and ways.


Bomer said...

[Ooops! -- posted this in the wrong area -- 'Scuse, por favor -- *GBG*]

Luke was writing to some "God-Lover" -- I have heard speculation that it was Nero, but his letters to Paul suggest it may have been Seneca.

Paul's witness was not just teaching, though -- it was his very life and actions. I have to keep reminding myself that my witness can speak louder than my words (and more truly -- *GASP!*). But the witness of all us believers as we live out our faith gives "certainty" to others of the teachings we get from Scriptures and the messages we hear on walking the Life.

My walk is kinda wobbly at times....look at me squinty-eyed at those times, please?

Laura said...

"Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this, I am an old man.." (v. 18), and v. 34 "How will this be, Mary asked the angel..." (a teenager)

Why do we who have been in the faith longer tend to discount the ripeness of God's timing? Should not have the responses been reversed- Zechariah a priest and well acquainted with the miracles of the OT, why did he question, while Mary, barely more than a child was the open vessel? God honors our "How will this be?" questions, as it voices our willing participation in the Will of God, infusing knowledge and faith into our walk.

I sometimes view our faith the way many outsiders do, keeping all the words and works 'within the lines'. But, then I realize that my faith is strengthened more by 'risky' offerings that I witness people making. The preface of the Book of Luke in my Bible says that "Luke shows compassion for people considered outcasts...and a deep concern for prayer, discipleship, joy and the ministry of the Spirit". These 2 are the genuine melding of the Walk of Christ= showing compassion for outcasts (those not in Him), + the preparation of the teaching of Jesus Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Chirst- to the glory and praise of God".
(Phil 1:9-11) Lord, may I not grow stale in the faith, but realize that you are ripe everyday, that Your grace and wisdom are a fresh filling to be poured out daily, and in this pouring out be keeping myself open to opportunities to share You in 'the today'.

traci said...

I so appreciate your prayer Pastor Bill - I also appreciate the application - people struggle to believe....
I know this chapter was mostly about Zachariah, Liz and John...but when I read it (I chose to use the NLT for a fresh perspective) the glaring statement in the NLT is the same one that glares at me in the NIV (my usual choice) ... 38 Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true." And then the angel left.
Mary knew that she was facing possible stoning when she got back to Naz and the family learned of her "condition" - and being with Liz even made it look (more) like she may have been unfaithful to Joseph...She was facing death or disgrace (at the very least) and yet her response was ... I am the Lords servant and I am willing to accept whatever HE wants????
I can't even handle a little disrespect at community meetings because I work for a Christian ministry, I'm nowhere NEAR desgrace or death...(in fact, most times I don't even manage a BLUSH) for heavens sake and I am slow to say "yes Lord" if I'm gona be completely honest.
He has really been grappling with me about "living out loud" lately...
Our Father - may my prayer and my heart speak LOUDLY "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true."

Scrap Happy said...

I just wanted to say that if you take the time to write this daily, I certainly can take the time to read it daily. Thank you for being the pastor and leader that you are.

Gladys said...

This is exciting for us ALL to be sharing in this way. I can't be here every day, but will stop in when able. I personally like to dig for facts and try to put myself in the scene, so, with that . .

Yes, this chapter is definitely filled with many things that could start a discussion, but one verse, I should say word, jumped out at me which was in v. 65 after Zacharias stated his child's name was John and he was again able to speak: "And fear came on ALL those living around them; and ALL these matters were being talked about in ALL the hill country of Judea." ALL, not some, but ALL! That would cover quite a territory! (And you'll be seeing the word "all" again!)

Can you just imagine the talk at a typical dinner table?:
# 1 Zacharias said that John would be a prophet of the Most High . .
# 2 . . . and . . . that he will give His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins!! Salvation . . . hmmm, I'll be thinking on that!
# 3 This is most amazing! And it will be wonderful when his time comes for this to be and we can witness what God will do!
# 2 Oh, I must go and see my sister and tell her this news . . . knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of sins . . I musn't forget that . . . knowledge of salvation for the forgiveness of sins.