Dr Luke’s Investigations

Luke 13

Disasters and compassion

Lord, as we open you word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust.  Amen.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Read: Luke 13

 

Thought

Pilate had pilgrims from Galilee slaughtered in the temple in Jerusalem in cold blood – these words to Jesus are probably meant as a warning as he heads from Galilee to Jerusalem, but Jesus is unperturbed.

And Jesus also addresses what people are thinking in their hearts about this act of cruelty and murder (as well as another natural disaster, when a building collapsed) – that these are not acts of judgement by God. These poor victims are not to blame.

Yet Jesus calls his judgemental and compassionless listeners to think about their own judgement!  He calls them to repent. To turn away from sin and turn to him. To change the way they look at the world and see to come and experience his life in all in its fullness, here and now.

And as this chapter finishes we can see in contrast, Jesus’s compassion. How he longs to gather them like a hen gather its chicks, but they would not come.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection : Good Good Father

 

As we read of the natural disaster in this passage we are reminded of our current situation. Pray for the victims and the families of those who have suffered from Covid-19, especially any who have blamed themselves. Pray too for those pointing the finger of blame.

As we read about Jesus’ call to repent, this should encourage us to pray for those who we know have not turned to Jesus and experienced the life in all its fullness that he offers. Can we keep this good news to ourselves?  Ask Jesus to come in power.

 

Prayer

Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever, Amen.

 

Rev Peter Francis

Luke 12

Don’t not be anxious… be?

Lord, as we open you word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust.  Amen.

And he (Jesus) said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on…for all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”

Read: Luke 12

 

Thought

In the culture Jesus was in, there were a lot of people on the breadline.  People who were anxious about being able to feed and clothe their family. And we still have many people in our world today, in the same situation.  On the other end of the spectrum, we have multi-billionaires worried about whether they will be able to upgrade their yacht or private Jet and keep up with their peers. Before we jeer too much, its all too easy for us to do the same with clothing, cars, money, holidays.

This week I heard someone commenting that the only other god Jesus talked about was money. While this might sound strange to call money a god, if possessions and wealth are what give purpose to our lives, what drives us and defines our values – then they are our god. And a god who is fed by sacrifices of anxiety – at the cost of our wellbeing and flourishing.

In contrast, Jesus calls us the life of the Kingdom – to trust in the God of abundance and goodness and generosity and in turn to reject anxiety in our lives and respond in trust with our own generosity to others.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection : Good Good Father

To what extent is money a rival god in our lives? Hand over your anxieties about money and possessions to Jesus and ask him to replace them with trust and generosity.

Where can you show generosity today? What are the opportunities for you to be generous, to others?

 

Prayer

Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever, Amen.

 

Rev Peter Francis

 

Luke 11

Father

Lord, as we open you word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust.  Amen.

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”  And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

 

Thought

The opening clause of Luke’s version of the Lord’s prayer is so simple and yet powerful: Father.

Not our father, in heaven.  Not even our father.   Just father.

It lacks the formality of Matthew’s version, but keeps the relationality and, if anything in its simplicity, magnifies it.

Whilst ‘Daddy’ might be pushing the informality as a translation, this is a prayer rooted in close family bonds.

And not just for Jesus.  But in this prayer that he teaches his disciples, he teaches us to come to God as his children, whom he loves.

If the disciples want to know how Jesus prays, the answer is simple, he prays out of a relationship and one he draws us into.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection : Good Good Father

Psalm 18 v30 This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Matthew 7 v11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Deuteronomy 31v6 Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Ask Jesus to help you know how much God loves you and wants you to come to him and pray to him as Father.

Ask Jesus to help you see how much you have a good, good Father.

 

Prayer

Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever, Amen.

 

Rev Peter Francis

 

 

 

Luke 10

Sitting at his feet

Lord, as we open you word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust.  Amen.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.  But Martha was distracted with much serving.  And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Reading: Luke 10

Thought

In a list of misunderstood passages, the story of Mary and Martha would have to rank highly.  A lot is read into this passage (that isn’t there), and a lot is missed out that is!  The words of Luke alone allow us to appreciate how radical this passage actually is.  To sit ‘at the feet of’ in the first century meant to study or be an apprentice.  For example, Paul ‘sat at the feet of Gamaliel’, one of the great Jewish teachers of his day.   So what Luke is saying is that Mary was effectively training to be a disciple, to be like Jesus, and Jesus was teaching her!  Its not surprising that Martha is struggling as a whole list of cultural taboos are blown apart in her own home.  Yet again, Jesus has called someone, whom others would reject.  Yet again, Jesus has seen what is in the heart.

Reflection

Music for reflection: ‘Who am I?’ by Casting Crowns

Don’t concern yourself with why you may have been rejected by others.  Or why you may have disqualified yourself.

Listen to Jesus.  What is he calling you to do, to be?

Prayer

Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, Now and forever, Amen.

Rev Peter Francis

 

Luke 9

 ….with Prayer

Lord, as we open you word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust.  Amen.

 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him.  And he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’  And they answered, ‘John the Baptist.  But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.’  Then he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’  And Peter answered, ‘The Christ of God.’

 Reading: Luke 9

 

Thought

 I don’t know if you noticed that Mark has a habit of starting every (possibly a slight exaggeration) sentence in his Gospel, with ‘immediately’ giving us a fast paced roller ride through Jesus’ ministry, who continually ‘hits the ground running.’

Luke equally has the habit of starting every (OK, probably another slight exaggeration) event with prayer, giving us a Jesus who ‘hits the ground kneeling’ (a phrase I borrowed from the Archbishop of York designate, Bishop Steven Cottrell).

Or in my simpler words, a Jesus who does … everything with prayer.

I have a rule of life to do ‘everything with Prayer.’  This is perhaps slightly aspirational (this might be the biggest exaggeration of all, in this reflection), but ‘everything with prayer’ is a phrase that often pops into my head.

I try to pray with people if I can, or to pray for them.  Perhaps I do worst in praying for myself – in everything I do.

But as I aim to be like Jesus, I aim to do … everything with prayer.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection : pray   

(Note: The first 3 minutes are the song, followed by an interview with the song writer (who put together the recent Blessing song that had over 1 million hits on youtube) and who wrote the song for this Ascension to Pentecost time of prayer 3 years ago.

What might help you to do everything with prayer?

Ask Jesus to help you have a prayer life more like his.

 

Prayer

Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, Now and forever, Amen.

 

 

Rev Peter Francis

 

Luke 8

 An example….

 Lord, as we open you word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust.  Amen.

 “ . . . The twelve were with him, as well as some women . . . Mary, called Magdalene, . . . Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna and many others who provided for them out of their resources”.  (vv1-3)

 Reading: Luke 8

  

Thought

 Luke tells us about the important role women played in Jesus’s ministry.  They took part in his work and travelled with him, provided for the need of Jesus as well as the other disciples “out of their own resources”.  Jumping the gun these women continued throughout Jesus’s public ministry and at his crucifixion, when other disciples had fled some of the women went with him to Golgotha, also to the tomb where they were first witnesses of his resurrection.  By his manner and teaching Jesus changed the status of women in the society of the day and gave women a new status, dignity and freedom.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection : Nothing but Grace

It is an inspiration and challenge for every woman to discover that nowhere in the gospels is any mention made of a woman being hostile to Jesus.

What an example of service this is as shown to us in scripture!

 

Prayer

May each one of us, as much as we can, support the making known of God’s word in whatever way possible, by prayer, by giving and by just being there.

Amen.

 

David Stoddart

 

 

 

 

Luke 7

Jesus responds to the needs of people around him.

Lord, as we open your word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust.  Amen

 ‘Therefore I [Jesus] tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much.  But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’  And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’  Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’  And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

Reading: Luke 7

 

Thought

Luke’s gospel portrays Jesus as the universal Saviour.  It is the gospel of the grace of God, free, unmerited, unlimited love reaching down to the lowest and the least.  As Jesus went about, his ministry was widespread and he was not afraid of controversy.  In this chapter he heals the slave of a Roman centurion.  (Romans were hated, though generally in the gospels and Acts centurions receive good press).  Jesus reaches out in compassion to a widow by touching the bier of her dead son (in so doing becoming himself ceremonially unclean) and raises him to life.  He allows a disreputable woman to minister to him, thus attracting the censure of Simon the Pharisee.  But Jesus could see into her heart and knew of her love for him because he had forgiven her her sins, while Simon had not observed any of the common courtesies to his guest.  Jesus carried out a broad-based healing ministry and made it clear to everyone that he could and would forgive sinners and invited all, including John the Baptist, to make up their minds about him – the Saviour of the lost.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection: Nothing but Grace

How do we respond to the needs of people around us?

Do we even know what those needs are?

Do we judge others too readily by their outward appearance?

Do we need to see signs and wonders before we trust in Jesus?

 

Prayer

Loving Lord, give us wisdom not to judge others by outward appearances only.

May we overflow with love for you for giving us new life in Christ and so

help us to be aware of the needs of others and act appropriately.

Amen.

 

David Stoddart

Luke 6

Decisions and disciples

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.  And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Reading: Luke 6

Thought

Jesus went up to pray – as was normal practice. Even going up a mountain, doesn’t seem too unusual as he would go and find time alone with his father.  Even in the midst of other priorities, Jesus knew that it was important to spend time in prayer.

And here it is not the volume of tasks in front of Jesus, but the importance of one key task.

Jesus has to choose the twelve, who will be his closest followers.  The twelve who will learn from him and learn how to do what he did – for that was the job of a disciple of a Rabbi in the first century.  They would then make disciples of their own who will learn from them and do what they did.  And in turn they would make disciples …. (and hopefully you get the point)

But these were not simply followers but apostles.  The Greek word mean ones who are sent out.  And the twelve were sent out in Jesus’s name when he was with them in body and then later in spirit.  They were sent out to be bearers of the Good news, they were sent out to pray and bring God’s healing and restoration to people.

These were the ones who will be sent out to start the worldwide church.  Some of them (we believe) went far afield, some went back to home territory to share the Good news.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection:  I will follow (acoustic)

What important task or question are we facing that we need to bring before God in prayer?

What in particular do we need to be learning or doing, that Jesus did? Spend some time asking Jesus how we need to be following him in particular right now (is there something we need to start, stop or change for instance) and what do we need to be passing on and to whom?

Who are we being sent out to?  Who at home, work, our communities, our friends is God putting on our hearts to pray that they may know the love and peace of Jesus?

 

Prayer:

Lord, may we press through every struggle,
endure every trial,
and overcome every hurdle,
through the power of the Holy Spirit
working in us and through us,
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

 

Peter Francis

 

Luke 5

Healthy or Sick, Righteous or Sinner?

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 

Reading: Luke 5

 

Thought

When Jesus called the fishermen Simon (Peter), James and John at the Sea of Galilee to be his disciples, we read that, they “left everything and followed him” (Luke 5:11).  Then, later, we read the same phrase as Levi (Matthew) the tax collector also “left everything and followed him.”  This was the life changing impact that Jesus had upon all of these men.

Levi then held a great banquet at his house for Jesus and invited a crowd of other tax collectors.  The Pharisees objected and asked the disciples, “Why do you eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  The fact is that tax collectors were seen as collaborators with the Romans, and most of them over taxed the Israelites so that they could make their own profits and become wealthy.  In the Pharisees’ eyes, tax collectors would be among the last people on earth that God would want to save.

Jesus then comes out with these incredible words, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  Max Lucado sums up the gospel message in eight simple words – “He loves.  He gave.  We believe.  We live.”  It’s not about us; it’s all about God, and what he has done for us.  There is nothing that we could ever do to earn our salvation.  None of us are ‘righteous’ through our own human efforts.  Our most righteous acts are like filthy rags to God.  The jaw dropping truth of the gospel message is that when we believe in Jesus Christ, he gives us the gift of eternal life.  He gave up everything for us so that we could live.  The question for us then is this: do we realise that we are sick and need a doctor?

 

Reflection

Music for reflection:  ‘Who am I?’ by Casting Crowns

God does not discriminate, but accepts anyone who repents and believes in him.  The gospels see Jesus saving the ‘unclean’ and ‘unrighteous’ people of the time who came to him – the prostitutes, lepers, older people, the disabled, tax collectors, the demon possessed, and non-Jews (Gentiles).  God gives believers a ‘new heart and a new spirit,’ and in Christ they are made ‘righteous.’  The Church has rightly been described as a ‘hospital,’ for the sick and broken, rather than an elite club for the self-righteous.

Do we recognise our human sin and sickness?  Do we recognise our need for Christ’s ‘salvation,’ which also means healing and wholeness?  Take time today to invite God’s Holy Spirit to come and fill you, heal you, and change you.  And reflect on the promise that, ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Thank God that he is the Divine Physician.

Prayer:

Lord, may we press through every struggle,
endure every trial,
and overcome every hurdle,
through the power of the Holy Spirit
working in us and through us,
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Peter Gee

 

 

Luke 4

Lead us not into Temptation

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.

Reading: Luke 4

Thought

Three things really stand out as we start to read Luke chapter 4.  Firstly, Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” and the Spirit’s power, after his baptism.  Secondly, although his baptism marked the start of his three and a half year public ministry, Jesus had not done any miracles or acts of power at this point.  Thirdly, Jesus “was led by the Spirit in the wilderness” (or desert) where he was tempted.  The next forty days would define what kind of Messiah Jesus would be, and this is clear from the three temptations that he faced.

The first temptation was to turn a stone into bread, and for Jesus to use his miraculous powers for his own ends, to meet his physical hunger.  Jesus could also have been only a social justice Messiah who used his powers to feed the world, but this would not have saved humanity, nor defeated evil, sin and death.  The second temptation was offering to make Jesus a military king who would rule over the kingdoms of the world, which was the kind of Messiah that the Jews were hoping for, and one who would deliver them from the Romans. However, Jesus had come to save the world, not to conquer it by force, and he had no intention of worshipping Satan.  The devil then used Scripture, quoting from Psalm 91:11-12, tempting Jesus to throw himself off the temple.  But this would have been presuming upon God the Father’s power to step in, and intervene inappropriately in Jesus’ mission.

By resisting these temptations, Jesus was setting his face like flint towards the cross and confirming that he was going to be the servant Messiah who would drink the cup of suffering, and die for the sins of humanity.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection: You restore my soul

When spring comes, at the same time as I weed one part of my garden, I know that weeds will be growing up in the other parts.  It’s like that in our lives, just when we think we have got one thing under control, we are suddenly confronted with a new challenge.

How can we learn from Jesus’ use of Scripture to combat our temptations?  Today, call upon God’s Holy Spirit to renew your mind, and help you stand firm when the going gets tough. As long as we are living in this current age, we will all face temptations, and the devil will look for an ‘opportune time.’  But we can all find a prayer partner or spiritual mentor to confide in with our own struggles.  And we can all pray daily “Lead us not into temptation.”

 

Prayer:

Lord, may we press through every struggle,
endure every trial,
and overcome every hurdle,
through the power of the Holy Spirit
working in us and through us,
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

 

Peter Gee

 

 

Luke 3

The new Elijah and the Fruit of Repentance

Lord as we open your word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust. Amen.

John said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’  For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

Reading: Luke 3

Thought

There had been no true prophets in Israel since Malachi, some 400 years earlier.  Suddenly John the Baptist bursts onto the scene in a flurry of activity.  John was a holy man, who lived in the desert and was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth (Luke 1:15).  The Jews believed that the prophet Elijah would return just before the Messiah (Isaiah 40:3-5).  Both the angel Gabriel and Jesus confirmed that John came in the spirit of Elijah and did fulfil this prophecy (Luke 1:17, Matthew 17:11-13).  Elijah himself then later appeared in person at Jesus’ transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36).

Many of the Jews believed that they would be saved, simply because they were Abraham’s children.  But John came to wake Israel up and challenge people to their very core.  All people everywhere are called to “repent!”  If you have ever watched a soldier on a parade square, when the officer calls out “about turn!” and the soldier turns his back on the way he was previously following and marches in the opposite direction – that is repentance, a complete change of direction.

The phrase of John’s that really stands out for me is this: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance!” (Luke 3:8).  John is clear that words and good intentions are not enough, but practical actions, and changes in our lives, are what God is looking for.  People with two sets of clothes should share with those who have none.  People with food should share it with those who have none.  People should be honest in their work, not take advantage of others, and be content with their pay.  We need to remember too that repentance can be both a one-off event, and also a daily re-aligning with God.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection:  You restore my soul

Can you imagine if we had a John the Baptist in our churches, what might the impact be? Would we all be shaken out of our complacency and seek holiness, righteousness, justice and God’s presence like never before?  Reflect upon the importance of a prophetic voice within our community, like a rudder on a boat, to steer us back into the right direction and keep us there.

Perhaps you have always desired the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10)?  Why not pray to God and ask him for this most precious gift?

Also, thank God that he is changing you daily by his Holy Spirit into the person whom he created you to be (2 Corinthians 3:18, Philippians 1:6).

Finally, is God speaking to us about any areas in our lives today, where we could practically share what we have with others, or live in a more just and equitable manner?

 

Prayer:

Lord, may we press through every struggle,
endure every trial,
and overcome every hurdle,
through the power of the Holy Spirit
working in us and through us,
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

 

Peter Gee

 

Luke 2

Being attentive to the Holy Spirit

Lord as we open your word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust. Amen.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; (vv 25-27)

 Reading: Luke 2 

Thought

Jesus has come into the world. The Word is made flesh. Mary’s baby is born in a lowly manger. How can this be the Son of God? Well, expect the unexpected when the Holy Spirit is at work. This child will be the saviour and has come to turn things on their head. This king is born amongst the people, not in a palace but in a lowly manger and the Spirit is at work from before Jesus is born, right through his life and beyond.

The great canticle which we know as the Nunc Dimittis, comes to us from the spirit-inspired lips of Simeon. The Holy Spirit has rested on him, equipped him with the gift of prophecy, and guided him to the temple where he recognises with delight the infant Jesus, the saviour who has come to bring comfort, to be a light for all nations. Israel’s glory will, as we know, not be that won in conventional battle, but in the battle over sin and death for all.

The Spirit will guide us when we see and recognise Christ, hold him and his teachings close to our hearts, grow in wisdom as he did, and follow his way of living. As the music for reflection prays, the Spirit causes the Word to come alive in us and breathes new life into us to tell the story afresh.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection: Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God

Ask Jesus to help you be more attentive to his spirit, to what he is doing and what he is calling you to do?

Where do you sense the Holy Spirit at work in your life?
Where do you sense the Holy Spirit at work around you?

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit from Creation’s birth
giving life to all that God has made,
show your power once again on earth,
cause your Church to hunger for your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
that in unity the face of Christ
will be clear for all the world to see.
                                Keith and Kristen Getty

Pauline Setterfield

 

Luke 1

Filled with the Holy Spirit

Lord as we open your word, open our hearts to hear what you have to say to us and to respond in obedience, faith and trust. Amen.

…even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (vv.15-17)

Reading: Luke 1

 

Thought

The beginning of Luke’s Gospel, or at least parts of it, are so familiar to us from the nativity story.  But had you noticed that the Holy Spirit is already at work here amongst God’s chosen people, throughout this first chapter, as we discover that nothing is impossible with God?

Even before his birth, John is to be filled with the Holy Spirit to do God’s work in turning people to the Lord and preparing the way for the Messiah.  In the same way our Creator God, who knows us from before we were even born, chooses, calls and equips us for his mission on earth.

God chooses Mary.  The Holy Spirit comes upon her and the power of the most high overshadows her.  Amazing things can happen when our lives are spirit-filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Those fruits of the spirit which we see in Mary’s response to God can transform our lives and, in turn, the lives of others.

When we say our ‘yes’ to God and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, we find we are strengthened to do all things, to turn human attitudes upside down as Mary sings in her Magnificat, and to bring light to those who sit in darkness, as Zechariah sings in his spirit –filled prophecy, the Benedictus.

 

Reflection

Music for reflection:  Holy Overshadowing

Say ‘Yes’ to God today.  Ask him to fill you with his Holy Spirit .

What are you struggling with today?  Ask God to strengthen you to face that struggle.

Ask him to fill your life with overflowing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

 

Prayer
Lord, may we press through every struggle,
endure every trial,
and overcome every hurdle,
through the power of the Holy Spirit
working in us and through us,
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

 

Pauline Setterfield

 

 

Introduction

Dr Luke, physician and onetime travelling companion of the Apostle Paul, set out his account of the Good news to his friend Theophilus.

He tells us that he interviewed eyewitnesses and pulled  together “an orderly account”, “having followed all things closely for some time past”.

So what did his investigations turn up?

What did the eyewitnesses reveal?

Join us each day, to find out.