Friday 25 December 2015

Bible Book:

“I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” (v. 10)

Luke 2:1-20 Friday 25 December 2015

Psalm: Psalm 110 


Today's passage is so familiar from nativity plays and Christmascards that it hardly needs comment. Notice, however, the repeatedreference to David, the king of Israel in its heyday, and toBethlehem, his birthplace (verses 4, 11, 15). Luke's Gospelemphasises that the birth of Jesus is the fulfilment of ancienthopes that God would bring into being a people faithful to God.Hence the frequent stress on good news and the joy it brings(verses 10, 13, 20).

Notice too the ordinariness of the setting: the city is crowded;the inn is full; the characters (except Mary and Joseph) areanonymous. There is some evidence too that shepherds were oftenregarded at the time as shifty and untrustworthy; if so it is allthe more significant that they are the ones to receive the goodnews.

Strikingly, though, and sadly, there is no sign in the rest ofLuke's Gospel (or in any of the others for that matter) that anyone(except Mary, verse 19) remembered what had happened.

The end of verse 14 is difficult to translate. 'Goodwill amongmen' is the familiar version, but is unlikely to be what Lukeintended. Whatever the solution, the original Greek does not implythat God's favour is selective.

To Ponder

  • How do we preserve the true significance of Christmas in themidst of its commercial and secular exploitation?
  • What does it mean to proclaim Jesus as "Lord" (v. 11)?
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