"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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Luke 2:8-20 Commentary
by O. Wesley Allen Jr.
One of the difficulties of preaching on Luke’s version of the nativity of Christ is that it is so darn well known.
How can a preacher offer good news (with the emphasis on “new”) when the story is so central to the Christian faith and is so familiar not only to faithful Christians but also to those who attend worship only Christmas and Easter and even to the wider culture? If people do not know the story from reading their Bible, they know it from Linus’s rendition in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
It is worth saying that preachers need not necessarily highlight something new in the text to help hearers recognize and experience something new about the story in relation to their context and lives. In other words, the newness of the proclamation may come more from drawing fresh analogies between the ancient text and the contemporary world than from some new revelation about the old, old story. Preachers will do well to find imagery where people experience the surprising revelation of God being born in our midst today that is still best described as incarnation to help people celebrate and ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL249: Shepherds Visit
December 25, 2016
This podcast on Luke 2:8-20, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Dec. 25, 2016, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Matt Skinner. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.