Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Testimony to Incarnation (Section 1d of the Nameless Luke Advent Thingee)


Read Luke 1.1-4

Don’t worry. This is our last introductory/context-setting/broad stroke post. We’ll get to the storyline next.

A few years ago I was reading a journal article on how prayer is a key feature of all the turning points in Luke’s gospel. I thought it was an interesting article, but in my general exposure to the gospels at the time, I honestly thought it was a scholar trying to make too much of a pet theme. I saw the point, but didn’t buy the emphasis.

Maybe it’s the holidays getting to me, but I’m in the mood to buy it now. Our small group is going through Luke – I think I’ve mentioned that – and prayer really does subtly connect to key points along the narrative. I pulled that article off the shelf and I need to give it another look because I think I might be sold.

In some ways this doesn’t have direct bearing on the Advent story. It isn’t rich with prayer, but there’s a lot of communicating between heaven and earth. Angels are doing a lot of work in Luke 1-2, but as we think about prayer we realize it is a divine encounter.

We have this amazing privilege in prayer to be part of heaven and earth meeting as we communicate with God in prayer. It sounds beautiful. For some people it is a beautiful and rich experience. Others know it is important, but it is also work. Prayer is labor for some.

I wish I was one for whom prayer came easy. I’m not. It’s labor for me. I’m not always consistent. It sometimes feels like I’m talking to the ceiling – or floor. And yet it isn’t about my feelings. It is about talking with God - and listenting, too.

This Advent season is a reminder that God sent His Son to connect with earth. But we have the opportunity all the time to connect to heaven in prayer.

Don’t let this season go by without spending some good time praying – prayers of thanksgiving for God sending His Son, prayers of gratitude for our abundance, prayers of healing for the pain the holidays bring. Whatever you need, God wants to hear from you.

Don’t forget to give presence to God in prayer this Christmas. He wants to hear from you.

Tomorrow … the story begins!

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