Reflection on Luke 1Posted: January 11, 2014
“Because of God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79
I’ve been thinking all week about Luke 1, the beginning of the Gospel story as Luke reports it.
Luke hits the ground running and we have to run with him to keep up with all that is about to unfold. Theophilus is named at the outset. Is this a friend of Luke’s, a person of means, an eyewitness? Has he been captured by the power of the Holy Spirit in such a way that he wants to be a part of all that is to come?
Luke acknowledges at the outset of the Gospel that many people have already been at work in compiling the events that have “been fulfilled among us.” What is important, though, is that Theophilus understands that this is a reliable account. So that he can trust that what he has been taught is in fact, trustworthy.
Luke points to the work of the Holy Spirit through Zechariah, the birth of John the Baptist, and then Mary.
If we are to take this prophesy seriously, and I trust that we do, we can not ignore this word from that Mary offers:
Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone from one generation to the next, who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,remembering his mercy.
What is to follow in Luke’s Gospel is this theme of the movement of the Holy Spirit which will come to be demonstrated in a powerful fashion in the Book of Acts. For now, it is clear. This One to whom Luke is pointing has a particular concern. This One is Holy and when worshipped and honored, mercy will be shown. In following this Savior there will be no room for arrogance, prideful inclinations or petty politics.
And this One will bear witness to God’s deep compassion(with passion) and great light to be shown in the darkest of places, so that we will find ourselves living in deep peace.
At the outset of a new year, may this word dwell richly within each of us.