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
Today’s daily lectionary gospel reading is in Luke, the above passage and then it skips to chapter 3 setting up Jesus’ birth. Luke is a Greek physician. He is not a Jew, but a gentile. He is educated and trained as a doctor. Now I do not know the scholastic requirements of a physician in Jesus’ day, but knowing the Greco-Roman system of education, we can assume Luke is well educated in the sciences.
Science. It is a word we hear often today. And for some strange reason, there is a tension between science and faith. This is a topic I would like to explore further (perhaps a video series), but for this Monday Morning Meditation, I’d want to say this:
Science is not opposed to faith. And faith should not be opposed to science.
Luke was a physician (a man of science) who made an investigation utilizing the scientific principles of observation, investigation and experience. He spoke with witnesses, he observed Paul in action and accompanied Paul on mission trips.
Luke the Physician, a scientist, writes a gospel about Jesus.
And he is not the only person of science who are believers. There are plenty (and that may be the series I want to do).
I understand how a scientific person might not be a person of faith, but I fail to comprehend how people of faith can deny science. After all, God created science, didn’t He? And careful observation of nature reveals much about both science and God.
As you start out this new week, take some time to carefully observe things around you. Experience God’s wonderful creation. Be a person of faith and science. Just like Luke.
May God bless you and keep you this week,
“…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5
Some of you might be familiar with the lectionary readings. Actually, there are two, a daily lectionary and the Sunday lectionary. The Sunday lectionary readings are split up into a three-year cycle that alternates between Mathew, Mark and Luke (with John sprinkled in through the year), as well as the Old Testament, Psalms and Epistles.
The daily lectionary is a two-year cycle that offers readings from the Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels every day. It is a great way to work through the bible.
What I have noticed is that the daily lectionary cycle for this week takes us through those last days of Jesus’ life in John’s gospel. I find this interesting because when we last met in the sanctuary, we were in the middle of the Lenten season – heading towards Jerusalem and those last days of Jesus’ life. And now we are planning to resume in person worship on Sunday.
In a way, we’ve come full circle. But isn’t that what God does all the time anyway? Return us to Him? We might veer off course, but God calls us back. We might have times of crisis, but God brings us back. We might feel gloomy on this overcast Monday morning (especially after yesterday’s Eagles game), but God brings us joy.
As you go through your Monday, consider how God always bring you back. And give thanks, even if the skies are gloomy.
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Psalm 42:1-2
What do you long for? Really, what do you long for? Many of us long for the day when we can meet with family and friends without restrictions. Many of us long for the day when we can return to the sanctuary without restrictions. Many of us long for the day when we no longer need masks. Many of us long for the day when we get “back to normal”.
But really, what do you long for?
Do you long for God? Do you truly long for God? What does it even mean to long for God?
The Psalmist describes this as a deer needing water. And that is a pretty good analogy. We’ve all been thirsty. Over the past few weeks it’s been so hot and humid that I’ve taken plenty of water breaks while cutting the lawn. I truly longed for the water. But do I long for God in the same way? Do you?
Sometimes it is hard to just stop and wait on God. There are so many things to be done, there are so many voices shouting at us, so many differing opinions that we sometimes cannot truly stop long enough to even know what we need.
But, and this is important, we need to be in the quiet, we need to be in situations where we can truly contemplate what it is that we need. And when we do, when we are in the quiet, in the silence, in the calm, we feel our need, our thirst. And that is good – for when we thirst for God, God responds in incredible ways.
I asked the congregation to submit lines of the Apostles’ Creed and this is what we put together:
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Mt.14:28-31
I have asked the congregation to video parts of the Apostles’ Creed. I’m attempting to create a video “mash up” for online worship and I’ve gotten some feedback from congregation members saying they are not technically adept at doing this.
Okay I get that, however in March I had precisely six days to figure out how to record and upload a Sunday worship service. In a matter of hours, we went from “we will hold worship as long as we can” to “sorry, the sanctuary is closed”. I have not had any video training and have learned the “sink or swim” method to provide on-line worship content. Since those early days, the service has improved (at least I think so), and I’ve done a lot of other creative on-line things.
This brings me back to the Apostles’ Creed. I want to create a mash up video with various members speaking different lines. I’m asking members to do a short line of the creed. You may think that is hard, but it is the easy part. I need to figure out how to do the overall video. And I have no clue…yet. But I will figure it out if you do your part.
Brothers and sisters, can you please step out of the boat and walk on water? This can be a great thing!
But only if you have a little faith in what you can do.