Adventure: Week One

Weeks 1 and 2

We begin our Adventure by reading from the Gospel of Luke. The Jesus of Luke’s story is a Jesus who came to be the Savior of the world. Even in the first part of the story Luke tells, we begin to see signs that Jesus is coming to bring good news to the whole world. Shepherds come to the manger. The baby’s birth is anything but the birth of a king by the world’s standards. The angels tell the shepherds “I bring you good news.” Simeon, upon seeing baby Jesus, declares, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations.”  The preaching of John is an invitation to all who would repent. As Peter begins to realize who Jesus is, he sees himself as “a sinful man.” Yet the Jesus of Luke’s gospel says, “Don’t be afraid.”

The two stories that stand out to me in this first week’s reading are Jesus’ visit to the synagogue in Nazareth and Jesus’ dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee. In Nazareth, Jesus declares that He had come “to proclaim good news to the poor. . . to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Around the dinner table in Simon’s house, Jesus tells a sinful woman that her faith has saved her, she can go in peace. Think about the adventure that she began that day. She came into the room no doubt afraid and guilt ridden because of her lifestyle, and left the room “in peace” – that is, in a right relationship with God, herself, others, and creation. That’s what the Hebrew greeting Shalom meant.

Before this week’s reading comes to an end, we will see Jesus preaching and teaching, healing and blessing, exhorting and telling stories. One of the great gospel parables, The Parable of the Sower, shows up in this reading (page 20). When all is said and done, at the heart of that story is that in the person of Jesus God is breaking into human history to bring redemption. The kind of Adventure you and I can have is determined by what kind of hearts we have to receive the word of God.

Questions to Think About (Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!)

  • Did you notice anything in your reading this week that you have never noticed before when you read Luke?  Tell us about it.
  • Did anything you read this week cause you to want to ask someone to help you better understand it?
  • Did anything you read bother you?
  • If you were asked to identify one thing in this week’s reading that helps you better understand how to love God, what would it be?
  • If you were asked to identify one thing in this week’s reading that helps you better understand how to love others, what would it be?