EP: Psalms 67, 96; Isaiah 52:7-10; Acts 1:1-8
Today is the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist. St Luke holds a special place in my understanding of Christianity. A church in NYC, which was the place of a new-found, re-discovered faith for me, was named after this physician: a place where I found God again. This long and complex Gospel is also one that speaks to me at a number of different levels.
We have the beginning of the Gospel of Luke and the beginning of the Book of Acts as part of today's readings. (The latter is much disputed amidst and amongst Biblical scholars as to whether the author of Luke also authored Acts, but that is for another blog to sort out.) Luke is quite clear at the beginning of his Gospel that he is leaning on many other sources and is creating an account that more fully fleshes out the life, ministry and revelation that is Jesus Christ. He admits, freely and fully, that he was not an eyewitness, but he is utilizing their information to write his "orderly account."
Luke began his adult life as something different than where he ended up: a physician that somehow came under the tutelage and eventually a disciple of Paul. A doctor becomes disciple becomes author/prophet. We can all become afraid of change, concerned that we have set a life-course and cannot alter its trajectory. The life of the individual whose feast day is today should help inspire us, and give us the courage, to set off on new paths when we feel God's call to move in a new direction. Those changes are not failures. Those past decisions and experiences are not mistakes. They have aided us in becoming who we now are, and our present decisions will help us form ourselves into who we can and must become. A re-purposing, so to speak, like a rail-bridge, fallen into disuse, made into a walking and bike trail.
Luke's life and work can help us ask: where are we called to next? And with confidence take the first step in that direction.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, 2011, jfd+