Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"That you may know..."

Several months ago, our pastor announced a church-wide challenge to read a chapter from the Bible each day during the summer. Those who signed up were put into groups of 3-4 and sent a schedule for the readings. It looks something like this:

June 1-24:  Luke
June 25-July 22:  Acts
July 23-August 8:  Romans
August 9 - 24:  1st Corinthians
August 25 - 28:  Philippians
August 29 - September 1:  Colossians

Each day, when we're done reading a chapter, the members of the group are supposed to e-mail each other with our observations and comments on the reading for the day. It provides great accountability knowing that there are people waiting to hear from me about what I read. So I figured if e-mailing a couple of people was great for accountability, then why not post it on my blog for even more motivation to keep up with the reading. :) 

So, dear readers, I'm going to start posting my observations/comments here on the blog. While I e-mail them daily to my group, I will probably try to post them on the blog either every other day or a compilation at the end of the week. Since today is the 14th, we're already on Chapter 14 of Luke. So to catch you up, I'll try to post a few chapters at a time. Below, you'll find Chapters 1-3. I hope that someone learns something from this experience. I have been blessed greatly by being involved in this, reading the Scriptures each day, and by those around me that have sent me their observation. My prayer is that I can be a blessing to others as well.

Luke 1: 4 " that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."

Soli Deo Gloria,

Luke 1
I can't even begin to imagine Elizabeth's relief and wonder at her pregnancy. In vs.25 she says "The Lord has done this for me...and taken away my disgrace among the people." [emphasis mine] In a culture where much of a woman's value was placed on her ability to have children (mostly sons), it must have been quite the shock for Elizabeth who had been barren her whole life to find that she was pregnant. I'm sure after years of pity and aloofness from her friends it was quite the celebration (as shown by gathering at his birth). I'm sure it compares to the joy felt by several friends I've known that have dealt with infertility and then found out that they were pregnant.

I'm also intrigued by the different responses of Gabriel. When Zechariah questions how his wife could be pregnant, he isn't able to talk until he declares what his son's name will be. When Mary questions how she could be pregnant, Gabriel simply answers the question and tells her about Elizabeth then leaves. What was in Zechariah's heart that garnered a "punishment" for his questioning that was not present in Mary's?

Luke 2
1) I had a little footnote in my Bible that cross-referenced vs. 23-24 with Exodus chapter 13 so I went to check it out. The consecration of the firstborn son to the Lord was a big deal because it was meant to remind them of the Lord's power. In Exodus 13:15, it is explained that this was done to remember that God struck down the firstborn sons in Egypt when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave. So many of the gestures/requirements in Judaism are symbolic of what God has done for them that I'm surprised I hadn't been aware of the reason for the consecration of the firstborn.

2) The incident at the Temple is really the only glimpse we get into Jesus' childhood beyond his birth. At the end of the chapter we're told he was obedient to his parents and that he "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Makes me wonder what his early life was like beyond the yearly trips to Jerusalem for Passover (vs. 41). In what ways was he like every other kid and in what ways was he completely and utterly different? What was he like with his brothers/sisters? Anyway, guess that's just my curiosity :)

3) Right from the beginning, with the very first recorded words of Christ, he demonstrates what our priorities should be in life. God first, then family (though I don't advocate not telling your parents where you're going if you're 12 :)).

Luke 3
1) Genealogies always seemed a bit dry to me until I started looking for names I recognized (though that's pretty difficult in Numbers!). There are lots of neat connections you can make with other stories in the Bible from the genealogy of Christ. Ruth and Boaz, Rahab, Judah and Tamar are all hinted at in the list of names in Luke 3, along with the more recognizable names like Adam, Abraham and so forth. Several people will actually use this and Matthew's genealogy to try and prove that the Bible is not consistent since they diverge after King David (one follows King Solomon and the other his brother Nathan). However, the different ways they are set up ('father of' versus 'son of') indicates that one (Matthew's) is Joseph's line and the other (Luke's) is Mary's genealogy.

2) I loved that John was giving work advice to those that came to him from all sorts of vocations. What impressed me was that tax collectors and soldiers were some of the most reviled jobs because the things John told them not to do were so rampant (extortion, harassment, etc.). And yet John did not tell them to quit their jobs but to reform them, to follow God no matter what their situation/occupation. Makes me think about what I'm like at my job...

3) I think in the first half of this chapter, we already see God beginning to show the people that his salvation will extend to the Gentiles and the whole world. When John calls his audience out for being proud of their heritage alone ('We have Abraham as our father.'), he states that God could make children out of stones if he wanted. It is not simply a bloodline that makes you a child of God.

1 comment:

Taylor said...

These are cool, girl! I'm having fond memories of chapter camp and everyone sharing their neat thoughts on the Word.