Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Luke Chapter Two

Thanks to all of you who have commented and those who are following along with our walk through Luke. I am already enjoying this exercise. I hope you are too. Here's Thursday's entry. (Friday we'll read chapter 3.)

Reading: Luke 2.1-52

Scripture: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart…but his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2.19,51)

Observations: The baby in a manger, shepherds and angels, Simeon and Anna, the baby grows into a young boy – the infancy and childhood of Jesus is summarized in one brief chapter, but what I see is a mother who is both a main character and a curious observer of the events. Mary had to process the exuberant praises of shepherds, the cryptic warnings of Simeon (vs. 34,35), the gentle encouragement of Anna, and the confusing response of a theological child protégé in the temple courts. Luke wants us to see through the eyes of Mary and feel her angst and sense her wonder at her child, Jesus. As we get a window into her private thoughts, we are invited to ponder those same thoughts for ourselves. “What is going to come of this young boy? What will people think of him? Who will follow him? Who will he offend? Is my soul going to be pierced by him? I’m eager and afraid to find out.”

Application: Sometimes we short-circuit God’s work when we think we have to have everything figured out from the start. The sense of wonder and awe is rightfully needed to drive us to seek to know Jesus more. Reading Luke’s gospel as if I don’t already know the end of the story causes me to open my eyes wide with curiosity.

Prayer: Please, Holy Spirit, help me to have wide eyes again. Help me to see Jesus with a fresh curiosity and to ponder these stories in my heart. May these Scriptures evoke the wonder in me that will cause me to seek to know Jesus more deeply.


julie said...

I don't know why I am always amazed when I read a passage of Scripture for the "nth" time, yet it breathes like it's the first time I have ever read it. In reading the Nativity Story, Luke 2:10b caught my attention:

"Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people."

This expecially speaks to me as I work with a lot of people who "know of God," but their perception of what it means to live in faith is definitely off. I don't blame them, really. If my perception of being a "Christian" was formed by society rather than personal experience, I would be nervous too. So often, I just want to say something similar to this passage to others - don't be afraid...I'm not a weirdo, but I have experienced a joy that cannot be explained except by my walk of faith.

Yet another not-so-gentle reminder to me is found in Luke 2:12:

"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

It has always been fascinating for me to see the pattern of humbleness in Scripture. The people who had not yet met Christ were basically instructed to look for humbleness.

Lord, help me to be humble today, as it drives away all senses of fear and intimidation. I choose to open my heart to truly understand what it means to be humble. Please show me today what it really means to have this quality, so I may be an example of the nature of Christ.

Scrap Happy said...

I thought I would be hardpressed to find my "SOAP" today, as this chapter is so common that even Linus quoted it! But once again, several verses jumped out to me and all went together as I filled out my devotions.

David Kennard said...

As I was reading I couldn't help but think about the trip Joseph had to take back to Bethlehem - back to his roots. It made me realize I've never been back to my own birthplace - Nevada, Mo. On one level this caused me to have a desire to go there and see that place the next time we're on vacation in Mo and on another level it made me aware of just how far the Lord has taken me in the past 36 years. I feel deep appreciation for the roots of my faith and am longing to instill the same principles in my own family that have formed the bedrock of our Christian heritage.

This evoked all kinds of gratitude for the way in which our Heavenly Father leads us along the path of life into His ultimate will. I'm humbled to think that He knew I'd marry Amie, have Joshua and Jenna and be in Pittsburgh for these 10 years.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the way in which You have guided our family. It's our desire that Your will would be accomplished in our lives and world. We long for You to receive glory and praise as we seek to follow You.

One other quick reflection on these verses ... what's up with Joseph and Mary losing track of the Son of God?! Anyone else ever lost your kid? It's a scary thing!

Heidi said...

How surprised I was when I went to today's blog and you had chosen the same verse that I had. It really jumped out at me. I am almost certain it wasn't there before :)

I really enjoyed your observations of the verse. Alot for a teenage girl to integrate into her own understanding and circumstances but an inspiration for us today to try and do the same. Slow down and ponder what God might be telling us that doesn't make sense or fit in to what we think we should be doing and treasure the message in our hearts.

joedv1218 said...

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Once again God uses the simple man, the shepherd to be the first to spread The Good News. God chooses the simple man seperated from society, to be His initial Evangelists. (Talk about out of your comfort zone!)

Moreover, they were also the first to see The Glory of God in action. (18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.)
Which caused them to come back and glorify and worship God.

I am feeling the conviction of not spreading The Word enough in my walk. (sadly, hardly at all).

Holy Spirit please come and fill me anew with the fire and courage needed to spread The Good News. Help me also to let my actions be a brighter light than my words.

Laura K said...

I, too, was surprised that P. Bill chose that particular Scripture, erroneously thinking that a woman and mother would be more sensitive to it. But 3 times in this chapter we are directed to Mary:
The 2 that Bill directed us to, but also v. 35..."and a sword will pierce your own soul too."

These 3 versed have been highlighted in my Bible for years. Now as a mother of a young adult, I ponder them frequently. Most importantly to sit with what God is doing through me, to take it into heart and soul and be patient with his direction. In the information and technology age, we can text, email, phone all of our friends to detail them of His revelation to us, and look 'for confirmation', but Mary teaches us to absorb and learn from Him alone.

Gladys said...

This chapter tells about Jesus' birth and, as wonderfully exciting as that was/is -- the greatest event this side of heaven, that God would dwell in this manner with us -- there is another excitement that I feel as well, that being included in this joy, REALLY included. You see, we Gentiles were alienated and hostile in mind (Col. 1:21), but the promise of the angel to the shepherds (Luke 2:10-11) ". . I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for ALL the people . . for today . . there has been born for you a Savior, whos is Christ the Lord."
And Simeon's words, v. 31-32 ". . Thou has prepared in the presence of ALL peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles . . "

Did you catch the word "ALL" again?

Oh, yes, this truly was/is news of great joy!! We -- gentiles -- need never be, or feel, excluded again!

Thank you Jesus!