Bible Book: Luke

A mother holding her son on her lap and smiling at him

Right From the Start Jesus Didn’t Do It Alone

From the very beginning of his existence on earth, Jesus was not alone. He began human life in the womb of his mother. He grew up in a faithful and loving family. He had plenty of friends and relatives in the community in where he lived, people with whom he shared the good and the hard things of life. When God came to be among us as a human being, God in human flesh was not alone, right from the start. So it should be with us. If we’re to live as Jesus lived, we can’t do it alone. 

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A mother feeding a child in a highchair

The Value of Ordinary Work

The example of Mary and Joseph reminds us of how much God values what we do. So, as you teach a class or lead a meeting or make a cabinet or write a song or design a new product, do your work in honor of God. As you make lunches for your children or drive them to school or help them with their biology homework or teach them to make good choices in their lives, know that God is with you and is pleased as you do your ordinary work for God’s purposes and glory. 

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Long rows of people sitting at computers

Returning to Work in Light of Christmas

As we head back to work after the holidays, will the reality of Christmas make a difference? What if we did our work with a new awareness of God’s presence? What if we set apart a few moments in our day to offer thanks to God and commit our work to God? The celebration of Christmas may be over, but the reality of Christmas continues, touching everything in life, including our work.

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A bunch of angel ornaments hanging on a rack

Your Work and Peace on Earth

We love the good news shared with the shepherds by the angels: “Peace on Earth.” Yes, this peace includes the absence of conflict and inner tranquility. But God’s peace entails so much more. It is life as God intended it to be, life infused by harmony, justice, fruitfulness, and love. We have the opportunity to bring this peace to every sector of life, including our workplaces.

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Linda Roberts' nativity scene

Don’t Let Your Achievement in Work Define Your Identity

The Christmas story underscores the fact that God values those who respond to God’s grace with faith and obedience. God is looking, not for those who are great in achievement, but for those who are great in openness to God and God’s will. Thus, we would do well to define our identity, not in terms of professional success, but rather in terms of faithfulness to God.

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A shepherd on a hillside with a flock of sheep

God Interrupts Our Work Once Again

In Luke’s Christmas story God interrupts people as they work. God interrupted Zechariah while he was working in the temple and the shepherds as they were working in the fields. We need to be ready for God to interrupt us as we work, leading us into some unexpected opportunity for serving others. Yet, at the same time, we need to be attentive to God’s presence as we work, offering our work as worship to God. 

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A mother and father leading a toddler along a beach

Work and Children

Women work hard in Luke’s Christmas narrative. Both Elizabeth and Mary carry their babies and give birth to them. But birth is just the beginning of the work of raising children, work that belongs to both women and men. The Christmas story reminds us of how central this work is to our lives, not only with our own children, but also with the children in our neighborhoods, schools, and churches.

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A nativity scene with Joseph, Mary, and a wise man bending over the Baby Jesus

Patris Æterni Verbum Caro Factum

May the Word of the Eternal Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, be made flesh for you this Christmas.

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A person serving a tray of food

From Salvation to Service

In Luke’s Christmas story, Zechariah celebrates the birth of his son by extolling God’s work of salvation. But salvation isn’t an end in and of itself. Rather, God saves people in order that they might serve God in holiness and righteousness. We respond to God’s gracious salvation by serving God, not just in our religious activities, but in every part of life, including our daily work. We have been saved to serve.

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charcuterie board

Celebrating God’s Amazing Work

In the first chapter of Luke, Mary celebrates the amazing work of God, including her own experience of God’s miraculous power. Her example encourages us to recognize and celebrate God the worker. 

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A row of roasted coffee beans, with one surprising unroasted coffee bean in the middle

Sometimes God Interrupts Our Work

Scripture teaches us to value our work because it matters to God. In fact, we can truly worship God through offering our daily work to God. But sometimes God interrupts our work. That happened to a priest named Zechariah. While he was engaging in his priestly duty in the temple, an angel from God interrupted him with incredible news. His story encourages us to be open to ways God might interrupt us as we work. 

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Kara Roberts and her friend Emily as children, dressed up as Christmas sheep

What Does Christmas Have to Do with Work?

For many of us – but not all of us – Christmas is a time to get a break from work. Yet there is much in the biblical narrative of the birth of Jesus that makes connections between work and Christmas. For example, were it not for Luke’s hard work, we wouldn’t have the beloved Christmas story found in the Gospel that bears Luke’s name. 

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A pink rose and invitation card on a dark background

Advent: Honest Invitation

If you lean into the song-text and take a closer look at this child, cousin of Jesus, his calling in life extends a gentle invitation in our own waiting. The grace that Elizabeth’s womb is nourishing is one that will “give knowledge of salvation…give light…in the darkness…and guide our feet into the way of peace.” John’s calling is to give and to guide. Our invitation is to receive and to be led into peace.  

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A woman peeking through the closed curtains of a house, looking outside

Advent Gives Way to More Advent (Part 2)

Jesus has arrived but this Advent would lead to another Advent. Simeon is unique to us in the sense that we will never know what it’s like to hold the Creator in our arms. But we are the same in that we all wait for the nations and Israel to be one corporate body and behold his glory. Until he arrives with that kind of presence, we wait.

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A neon road sign reading "WAIT"

Advent Gives Way to More Advent (Part 1)

Even when discord and disillusionment abound, there can and will be consolation. Simon was right where he was supposed to be, and he teaches us today two lessons that anxious hearts tend to forget: Advent is about learning to wait well in the silence between promise and realization. And that Advent gives way to more Advent.

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