Celebrating Christmas, All of It, with Full Conviction

In the opening verses of Luke's gospel, Luke tells Theophilus his reason for writing: "So that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed" (NRSV). As is so often the case with scripture, there is more to this statement than meets the eye. As we race through the final days of Christmas preparations, let us take a few minutes, Mary-like (Luke 2:19), to ponder.

As literal a translation from the Greek as I can make of this Luke 1:4 clause goes something like this: "...in order that, concerning the points on which you have been instructed [catechized], you may know [the truth] with certainty." The Greek word for truth, aletheia, does not appear in the text, but it is clearly implied. The word for instruction or instructed, katekethe, gives us our word, catechesis. Having this additional color to the bare statement helps us get the sense that Luke writes this gospel to help Theophilus - and us - feel the confidence of knowing that we have been...

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Slow Down

I mean it.  Slow down.  Late modern life has afflicted almost all of us with the disease of haste and it is robbing us of precious time.  We think we save it by hurrying, but the opposite is the case.  There really is something to that old saying, "The hurryer I go, the behinder I get."  And with the stolen time go stolen opportunities to grow into the joy that only God can give. 

For most Americans, it's the busiest time of the year.  To slow down now seems impossible and my plea ridiculous, but God often works this way, contrary to our inclinations (and our caving in to the fatalism of the season) in order to give us something we desperately need.  

Of late I have become steadily more aware of the impatience that pushes me.  (I'm sure several of my friends and certainly my wife are saying "Well, duh!")  I need to get to the end of this book so that I can get on to the next book!  I need to finish this task so that I can...

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