“Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first,* to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.”

Luke 1:1-4

 

From the Pastor’s Pen:

Of the four gospels my favorite is Mark—it’s short, intense, and to the point. The close second is Luke. It’s a gospel that has digested the inside-out story about Jesus—that God came to dwell with us bringing healing and wholeness, promising love, forgiveness, and mercy—that Rome and the religious authorities killed God with us—that not even death could stop his love for us—and having digested the strangeness of God’s story tells it to us through those who were on the outside being brought in and those on the inside being exposed to the outside.

For example, the wealthy are often the insiders in the world as we know it. Well, in Luke’s gospel the rich and powerful are shaken up a bit—Only in Luke do we hear of the corrupt judge who is brought low by the constant complaining of a widow. Only in Luke is a rich man found in hell and the poor man he ignored found in the bosom of Abraham. Only in Luke are the Pharisees described as lovers of money.

At the same time women—often outsiders, lacking power, are found as insiders in the Kingdom of God. The relationship between Mary and Elizabeth is found exclusively in Luke—ditto Mary and Martha. For that matter God sending His angels to search out sinners is described as like a woman sweeping for a silver coin. Often times in Luke when Jesus heals someone a person of the opposite gender will be healed of a similar problem next.

Additionally, two of the most well known parables are told only in Luke’s gospel—the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. As we know Samaritans were the perpetual outsider—converts to Judaism that never quite assimilated—yet they are lifted up as the insiders who followed God—as the Good Samaritan over against the Bad Priest and the Bad Levite. Likewise, the Prodigal Son is distrusted by his brother—he’s been outside his father’s house for a time—yet when he returns the father throws a feast in his honor.

All this to say, soak up the last of the book of Mark this month, because come December our gospel lessons will be from the Inside-Out gospel of Luke.

 

Peace,

Pastor Chris

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