Jesus Enters into a Mess and Makes it Holy
“Many others have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events which have been fulfilled among us, exactly as those happenings were passed on to us by the original eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word. I too have investigated everything carefully from the beginning and have decided to set it down in writing for you, noble Theophilus, so that you may see how reliable the instruction was that you received.” - Luke 1:1-4
We will be studying the Gospel of Luke from Christmas Eve through Easter (with a brief interlude in Matthew for Epiphany Sunday). In these first verses in Luke, we learn that Luke wrote this Gospel to solidify the teachings from earlier Gospels, like the Gospel of Mark. The word translated “reliable” in verse 4 is the Greek word that is a cognate of our word “asphalt.” Luke’s Gospel is intended to solidify the reliability of the Gospels written before it.
As we read some of these most beloved passages at Christmas and just after Christmas, I hope you will think about what Luke is teaching us about God’s presence with us. Luke elaborates on the current events, introducing more details and more people who were there when Jesus was born and presented in the temple, etc. Each time, Luke shows that God came into a mess and created holiness. God created a home for Jesus’ birth in an inhospitable town. God created a royal greeting out of lowly shepherds. God created a declaration of Jesus as the Messiah through two unimportant people in the temple, Simeon and Anna.
As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, God-with-us, how has God been with you in the midst of the mess of 2020? Has God helped you clean it? Has God helped you leave it? Has God helped you live well in the midst of it? How has God entered your world and brought holiness into your life? May the Gospel of Luke inspire you, not only with the narratives of what happened back then, but also with eyes to see what Jesus is doing now.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!