Sunday, January 8, 2017


Daily reading: Luke 3:1-22
Sunday, January 8, 2017

Focus passage: John went throughout the region of the Jordan River, calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins.  Luke 3:3

Grace is such a rich word; it doesn’t happen in isolation, it happens in community. 

The gospel writer, Luke, likes to ground his testimony in history, a place and time, when someone can see the movement of God, a moment of grace.

Whenever I read the third chapter of Luke, I always think of the beginning of a Star Wars movie.  (Not Rogue One, which doesn’t offer you the scroll to place you in a particular time and place, but you know what I mean, you see the yellow letters in a black outer space scene scrolling; saying: “long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away” and then you read a bunch of details.)

Luke begins by listing names of political and religious leaders so that we can pinpoint a specific time in history.  He is setting the stage, and while the names may mean little to us, unless you are a scholar of the ancient near eastern world, they did mean something to the original hearers of Luke’s gospel.  They anchor the story in a definite place, a definite time and they provide the background for the movement of God.

Prayer: God, help me to fill the world with grace in big and small ways.  Help me to seek you out.  Amen.

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