November 29, 2022
Read: Luke 1:1-4
Eye witness reports - we pay attention to these on newscasts - these are from those with feet on the ground, front lines, on the spot interviews. They have the facts right from the people who are or have experienced this latest event or crisis. Luke was a physician and a friend of Paul’s with whom he travelled, and he would have been well acquainted with the early disciples eye witness accounts of their time spent with Jesus. Some scholars believe that Luke was the only non-Jewish writer of the New Testament and if this is so, it would have been even more important to him to make sure that his own findings around the birth of Jesus were trustworthy and true.
So friends of God (that is one of the meanings of Theophilius’s name), as we begin this narrative of Lukes about the birth of Christ - The Messiah, Light of the World, the Word made flesh, God with us - there is a place for each of us. The eye witness report of Luke - an outsider to the Jewish faith; Mary - a young woman, pregnant and unmarried; shepherds - isolated, socially unacceptable; Joseph - a carpenter, struggling to cope with a life circumstance that has left him bewildered, and afraid; Elizabeth and Zechariah - longing for a family but with hope that was fading....
These all are eye witness reports - trustworthy and true - not just a Christmas story, but God’s story of his amazing love for each of us, in every circumstance, the gift of His son, Jesus. May you become more aware in this season that you, friend of God, have this great privilege of being an eye witness to the love and goodness of Jesus in your life and in those around you. And an eye witness to His hope. You belong in His story.
“Day after day, men and women who feel more dead than alive, in the hearing or singing or seeing of this story, rediscover the utter and unspeakable and beautiful preciousness of life.
The story of Jesus’ birth gets reproduced in human lives still, over and over and over again. The birth of Jesus is a birth with a message. It takes the entire Bible to bring the complete message, but this birth is the core of it: In Jesus, God is here to give us life, real life.”
~ Eugene Peterson
Written by: Cathy Linseman