LUKE’S CHRISTMAS GOSPEL OF JESUS: A 30-Day Christmas-Time Devotional.
My Good Friend, Luke.
Luke 1: 1-4 (MsgB)
 So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us,  using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives.  Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus,  so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught.
I’ve come to the point where Luke just might be one of the first guys I want to meet in heaven. Right after my first two millennia sitting at the feet of Jesus, staring into His eyes and telling Him how much I appreciate all He’s done for me. Yeah. Probably near the end of that second thousand years, I might just want to look around a bit and I’m guessing I’ll probably think to hunt down my good friend, Luke.
In the meantime, my best way to get to know Luke better is to read his letters. So, since it’s conveniently Thanksgiving weekend as I write this entry, I sense it God’s perfect will to pull out my good buddy’s first volume and end my year by re-reading the familiar Christmas story, as presented by the good doctor, Luke.
You know the Christmas story, don’t you?
For those who are familiar with the New Testament and the four gospels, you know that Luke gives us the most complete narrative of the Christmas story. Matthew does a fine job filling in a few more details, but if you want to know where all of those famous Christmas carols and countless Christmas card greetings come from, you’ll find most of them right here in Luke’s handy-dandy guide to The First Christmas – 101.
Actually, in the larger scheme of things, Luke gives the Christmas story less than three chapters in his gospel writings, which cover a total of twenty-four chapters. Throw in his twenty-eight chapters of Acts, and all in all, the advent story of Jesus is quite small in comparison to the larger Jesus story Luke tells.
Ah, but lucky Theophilus, and lucky us. We get the story that has been carefully investigated in close detail by the one man, Luke, who must have known how important it is for those of us who haven’t met the historical Jesus in person to get all the facts straight. Now considering that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was part of the original 120 sitting in the upper room in Jerusalem in 33 A.D., I’m guessing that Luke got some pretty accurate details from the mom who was there! According to Acts 1: 14, Jesus half-brothers were in the upper room as well, so suffice to say Theophilus is getting one accurate account that goes right back to the very beginning.
So, ready or not, here we go. Luke’s good news message to the world. And it all begins with Christmas!
My prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Luke’s gospel and for those of Matthew, Mark and John. Without these four letters we call the gospel writings, there really wouldn’t be much to hang our hats on when it comes to discovering the historical Jesus. Thank You that You motivated Luke to investigate the early stories about Jesus, going to great effort to gather his unique findings into one volume, so that future generations like mine can become so easily attached to Your bigger story. Open my eyes and ears as I read, for Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: One of the problems I believe twenty-first century readers like myself have when reading the gospels is that we’re so very familiar with all of the stories, we can actually miss the original intent as we read. After nearly 2,000 years of tradition and church-treatment, it’s hard to dig through the layers of religiousness in order to find the real Jesus-story underneath it all. How can I invite the Holy Spirit into my gospel studies, so that I can get a truly fresh reading of them? What traditions and pre-existing conditions need to be removed so that I can see the main and the plain of God’s Word in the midst of these very familiar stories I’m about to read?
So what is God speaking to you today? Are you practicing the Kingdom presence of God?
We hope you’ll enjoy these 30 blogs that walk you through 30 days of Advent (Nov 26 – Dec 25). Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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