Over the next twelve days, leading up to Christmas Day, I want to give you some inspirational thoughts from Matthew's and Luke's gospel stories. These are the two of the four gospel authors to record the events leading up to the birth of Jesus.
"I myself have carefully investigated everything [about Jesus] from the beginning... so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." Luke 1:3-4
Luke begins by explaining that his story has come from careful investigation and eyewitness accounts about the events of Jesus's life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Luke's intention was to inform his readers that he was not inventing some fictional tale, no matter how outlandish the accounts may have seemed. Instead, he was giving his readers validation, beyond himself, for the proposition that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior, the One the Hebrews had been waiting to see.
Luke was primarily interested in helping his readers to know that what they had heard or learned about Jesus was something they could stake their life on with assured certainty. His story is one of confident hope.
As we are twelve days from Christmas, I honestly have had a difficult time focusing on our Savior. Do you feel that the world around you, the busyness of life especially at the end of the year, pulls you in so many directions? Whether it's the responsibilities of our work, our family's needs and concerns, or the holiday madness that began on Black Friday, we all need to refocus our attention on Jesus, especially as Christmas Day approaches. But how?
The idea that came to me is to begin a twelve day journey (yes Christmas is twelve days from today!) reading through just the first chapters of Matthew and Luke. If you would like to join me in this journey, let's begin on this reflective path together towards that lonely, quiet stable in a field of shepherds and sheep in Bethlehem. Let's remember that we can know with certainty, as Luke reminds us, that Jesus, our Savior came to rescue us, to give us hope in a bewildering world, and to ultimately sacrifice Himself for us so that we might taste and see true life.
On this journey with you,