Luke’s Infancy Narrative – Luke 2, pt.2

This evening we are gathering to finish our truncated Advent study of Luke’s infancy narrative. We will be reading through Luke 2:1-21

As you read through Luke 2, think about the role that the shepherds play in the story.  The socio-economic status of the shepherds allows for a contrast in the audience between the gospel of Caesar Augustus and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Whereas the good news of Caesar would have been proclaimed to the rich and powerful of Roman society beginning with the Roman Senate, the good news of Jesus begins with the lowly and poor common shepherds in an insignificant rural area of the world.  Also, having shepherds in the story helps connect the new covenant with the old. King David was a Bethlehemite shepherd (1 Sam. 16:1,11), just like those men to whom the angels appeared. And, of course, the Hebrew Scriptures often refer to God himself as a shepherd. (Ps. 23:1, Eze. 34, Isa 40:11).  The appearance of the shepherds, therefore, brings to mind both Jesus’ earthly and heavenly origins. Finally, the shepherds, like Elizabeth in Luke 1, give confirmation to Mary and those with her (e.g., her in-laws) that the child is who Gabriel said he was.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is Guinness Beef Stew. Discussion at 6:45. Hope to see you here. (If there is any area of study you want us to visit next year, please let me know.)

Give the King your justice, O God, *
and your righteousness to the King’s Son;
That he may rule your people righteously *
and the poor with justice;
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *
and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people; *
he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
All kings shall bow down before him, *
and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, *
and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; *
he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, *
and dear shall their blood be in his sight.

Psalm 72:1-4, 11-14 (BCP)

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