December 3

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.
--Luke 1:1-4 (NRSV)

Lost in the standard Advent readings of the book of Luke is its simple beginning. The gospel account of Luke is, at its heart, an “orderly account” written so that Theophilus may know “the things about which you have been instructed.” Luke is a book of stories, of accounts, of things that that were handed on by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

As we begin our Advent journey–each day progressing closer toward the birth of Christ— we are reminded that this is a special season of beginnings. Luke begins with a preamble, an introduction, a statement of purpose. The writing in this gospel is an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us. But what exactly are those events? And what do they mean to us today?

In beginning our journey toward Christmas, we have an opportunity to reflect upon the events that lead up to Jesus’ birth, as well as the events in our own lives that have lead us to newness of life.

Like Theophilus, we have been instructed in the things that make up our faith in Christ. Like him we have been exposed to the truth of the miracle of Christ’s birth. But yet, we have a need, deep inside ourselves, to know more; to continue the search for greater knowledge, or perhaps just to understand our faith anew.

It’s easy to skip over Luke’s preamble and rush into the story of Zachariah and Elizabeth and on into Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. But this introduction gives us a moment to pause and to reflect upon the things we know, the things that we think we know and the things that we want to know. How have we experienced Christ in our lives? How has Christ provided us with newness? How can we be servants of the word? What is our own orderly account of how Christ is born in us?

God of newness, provide in us an opportunity to experience your advent today. Begin in us again. Allow us to be open to new ways of your grace. Provide us with new ways of experiencing you this season. May we be awed by you and your love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


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