The Book of Luke, 24 Days of Jesus – An Advent Experience

Jesus was born to bring peace.

Go in peace, now.

Go in peace.

“And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:50‬ ‭ESV‬‬

A Peace I Know

Luke captured in Chapter 7, more healing.

Healing based on faith, that comes from seeking.

A noble man brought a servant of his to the attention of Jesus. This esteemed military officer, the centurion sent word to Jesus, requesting he come and heal the dying servant.

Jesus changed his course and headed to the home of the centurion; but, was stopped. The man sent word to Jesus that he didn’t want to trouble him, he recognized he was not worthy to have Jesus in his home.

He added, essentially, I know you have a lot on your plate. He could sort of relate.

So, he requests of Jesus, healing for his servant, that Jesus would “say the word” and the man would live.

He was at peace that the man would be healed, he believed Jesus was a healer.

The Centurion understood faith, he knew it does not require us to see, to only believe.

“When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The servant was saved and the centurion was simply grateful, not seeking any special favors because of his position. He sought Jesus for his servant and humbly made a way.

The seventh chapter ends with another story of someone who cared nothing about expectations, someone who simply sought Jesus and asked forgiveness of her sins.

Jesus was invited to dine at the home of a Pharisee, the men around the table most likely planning to pick his brain, to question his presence and to see for themselves how all they were hearing could be possible.

A woman known for her sinful behavior, heard of Jesus’ whereabouts and entered the home. Her desire to know Jesus made her courageous. Her courage to seek the one who would change her life, make it new led her to arrive at the place she was not welcome by the others but accepted by Him

She bows at the feet of Jesus, weeping and with an expensive perfumed ointment she’d collected in an alabaster jar, she caresses His feet.

The men, of course, were arrogant and astounded! This woman is a harlot. Surely you should know this Jesus, here’s the proof, you clearly are not a prophet.

You have no understanding, no discretion at all.

You clearly have a different perspective on who is worthy.

Jesus told them, I came to your home and you gave me little to nothing at all. This woman, she came to me with intention and with humility and she gave everything.

She surrendered all.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:47-48‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The peace that knowing Jesus gives comes with no cost at all; yet it is the most valuable gift of all.

It is surely a peace I know and will know and know again.

“O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Book of Luke – 24 Days of Jesus, an Advent Experience

Lessons for the Learned

At some point I must have been set on remembering the sermon.

The margin of my Bible is marked with my interpretations and revelations from a passage.

“And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:17-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Spirit of the Lord is on me and if you believe in His birth, His death, His resurrection, on you, too.

God has given us all opportunities to proclaim the good news to the poor.

To proclaim liberty to those without purpose, those who are trapped in the bondage of sin, shame, doubt, fear, unbelief. To remind myself and others of the gracious rescue from these places.

To those who are blind, we like Jesus are to help them see the light of the gospel, also known as “good news”.

We need reminding, all distracted at times and unable to see, our eyes covered by the blinders of this crazy world.

We are here now to tell our stories.

Our stories of why we believe, why we know we’re better believing than not.

It’s that simple. Life before Jesus was not what life with Jesus is and will be.

Why we’re tempted not to believe at times and why we know we can’t return to that road or jump from that dangerous place again, taking advantage of the grace that will catch us in our fall.

We’ve heard the Word, we read the accounts and like the crowd Luke wrote about, we are astounded by all the healing, we are now learned ones, for we have experienced salvation and healing and we continue to grow, we continue to be open to His lessons.

Jesus was born to bring us salvation.

For thirty some years he was a healer, a teacher, a speaker through parables, readable lessons.

May I never stop learning, ever progressing towards Him, to be like Jesus. May I embrace the opportunities in front of me to more purposefully tell.

Most of all, may what is said about me be more consistently true, more about Jesus than about me.

I want to leave a legacy.

“and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My surrender is my story.

The Book of Luke – 24 Days of Jesus, an Advent Experience

It Matters to Me

Luke, Chapter 3 is evidence of the writer’s intellect, I decide. Luke, a physician explored and recorded the lineage of Jesus. It would be easy to avoid the 15 verses with challenging names, like skipping over the Book of Leviticus on yet another plan to read through the Bible.

But, it is relevant, this lineage, this record of ancestry.

All the relatives of Joseph and thereby Jesus, the Son of God.

“the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3:38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It matters to me, the humanity of Jesus, the lining up of people, just like the people lined up before me.

Makes me reflect on our genetics and our similarities, the ones before me, making straight my way through the memories of their own ways.

“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My grandma made the best of paths she may have thought might be straight, she made it through the crooked places and leveled her life with scripture and determination, she always made a way.

I told my “Aunt Boo” that I felt my grandma with me and in me. I’ve sold hand-painted Christmas cards this year.

I remembered her carefully designing her velvety Christmas ornaments, covered in pieces and parts of old jewelry.

She used the long stick pins and carefully created elaborate pieces. I see her now.

She’s in the room they added on, the double bed filled up the room and there was space just wide enough for her beside it. She retreated to this place, I was invited in to sit quietly on the bed.

A dresser was covered with sectioned flat containers, sparkly, metallic, extravagant and antique. She stood for hours, her tiny frame steady, her hands working constantly. No words spoken and her mouth set just so, her tongue tipped up toward the curve of her lip, peeking through, she worked with her mouth “set just right”.

She was industrious. She placed the ornaments in big flat boxes and with her little memorandum pad, she loaded her car and she made her deliveries.

I am forever impacted by her choice to pursue something so joyful, to do something that was fully and completely her choice to do.

It matters to me, this characteristic of my grandmother in me.

I’ve been selling my art again.

Luke reminds us that everything is purposeful and everything matters.

In the first verses of Chapter 3, John begins to tell of a new concept, repentance and forgiveness of sins. Isaiah the prophet had written of John, a voice that would come from the wilderness. The same John who “jumped” in his mother, Elizabeth’s womb while in the room with Mary, pregnant with Jesus, this John would baptize many and baptize Jesus.

And Jesus heard his father, God say, “you are my son”.

“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3:21-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s doubtful I’ll ever be a theologian, doubtful I’ll return to any further education.

Life and God are my teachers now.

Life, the enormity of it around me, exposure to wisdom, thoughts, experiences. God helps me see the relevance of Him in it all.

I’ve just finished reading an article I’ll read again and maybe more. The wisdom of a man over why his ancestry is significant, why clarity matters, why approaching things hidden or unexplored is something we all should do.

It is never too late.

Two gentlemen, both guys who are wise and caring and ones I respect, pointed me in the direction of this piece.

Bruce Springsteen

We are all individuals formed by those who made us. Our heredity is more than physical, it is experiential.

It is a brave choice to consider the weaving of our ways, to look at them and say, oh, I see now this horrible or wonderful thing, how it made me, me.

Some might wonder what these thoughts have to do with Christmas. I get that.

I don’t know why; but, I said a long series of “thank you, Gods” beside my bed today. It began and then just became a spontaneous building of more and more. God kept up the conversation, brought to memory all of my before to say hey, look at now!

This life I have, this life I know.

It is absolutely a life of hope. My lineage and my life experiences at one time convinced me it could never be so.

Like Luke details the way the 30 year old Jesus came to be, it is similar for you and me.

The breath of heaven that brought Jesus is the same breath of God that created you and me.

On purpose and with purpose that life causes us to sometimes lose. I told someone yesterday I wish I hadn’t returned to art so late in life.

One of my thank yous this morning was that I am here and I have art and life and so much more.

I have hope.

Advent, the days before Christmas, these are the days to have hope.

It matters to me that my grandma chose hope, that she became independent in her pursuit of making beautiful things, that she was about my age when she began this thing that kept her captivated, made her feel significant, brought joy to so many.

It matters to me that I got to see what I didn’t understand as hope back then, but understand it now.

She prepared the way for me. I pray I’m preparing the way for my own daughter, my son and all the other children yet to come.

Luke, a Book about the life of Jesus. I’m no seminarian, I’m just sharing what he’s bringing to light …24 Days of Jesus, my Advent Experience.

Hope.