"Psalm 23," 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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Birth of Jesus
Shepherds Visit (or The Magi)
Beginning of Good News
Luke 2:1-14 [15-20] Commentary
by James Hanson
As you read this, I’m going to take a wild guess that you’re feeling somewhat stressed and anxious.
It’s one of the vexing ironies of the Christmas season that the peace it proclaims can be so elusive, especially for clergy. I’ll repeat my suggestion from last week that you take a few minutes (6:34 to be precise) and listen to Cantus perform Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria” on YouTube.
Preliminary observations: Most Christians have a harmonization of Matthew and Luke in their head; as you well know, they tell very different stories, both of which serve as overtures to their respective -- and distinctive -- portraits of Jesus. Matthew focuses on Joseph (Mary is barely mentioned) and the “righteous” way he attempts to deal with the dilemma of a pregnant fiancé; and while Matthew’s story proclaims the (miraculous) birth of one who will “save his people from their sins,” he is equally concerned with foreshadowing the ultimate rejection of Jesus the Messiah by the Jews, which he accomplishes by having the Jewish King Herod try to ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL203: Birth of Jesus, Shepherds Visit
December 24, 2015
This podcast discusses Luke 2:1-20, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, 2015.