"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Simeon and Anna
Luke 2:1-14 (or 2:1-20) Commentary
by Ruth Anne Reese
In Luke 1:26-38 the angel announces that Mary would give birth to a son and name him Jesus (meaning, God will save). Her son would be given the historic throne of David in a reign without end. In contrast to this Davidic king, Luke 2:1-20 opens with a reminder that world power was located in Caesar Augustus, the man who had conquered all the factions of the republic and then turned them into an empire under his sole control.
He issued the order that all the people of the world (e.g., from current day Spain all the way east to Palestine and then south into Egypt and current day Libya) be registered (a word denoting having one’s name put on a list, often for the purposes of paying taxes; “registering” is emphasized by its use four times in seven verses). Joseph and Mary need to go to Joseph’s ancestral town, Bethlehem, to register. Jesus, like David, will be born in Bethlehem (1 Samuel 17:12). The baby will not be born in the city where David’s power was located, ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 061: Nativity
December 24, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Mary Shore, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's readings are: Luke 2:1-14 (or 2:1-20) and Psalm 96 or 96:3.