Category Archives: Luke

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Luke 19:1-10

Dear God, in the spirit of letting the Holy Spirit examine my heart, I have to ask myself this morning, “How am I like Zacchaeus?” It’s ironic because I don’t think Christians ask themselves that question very much when they read this story. They look at this interaction and the talk about how great Jesus is and how desperate Zacchaeus is, but I don’t often hear people ask themselves if there is any of them in Zacchaeus.

For me, as I sit here this morning and consider this question, what comes to mind isn’t monetary thievery, but still a bit of a duplicitous heart. I am still pretty distracted by some earthly pleasures. And not that there is anything wrong with enjoying things that are in the world, but do I let them distract me too much from you? Am I doing the things you have put on my heart and following your call on my life? You’ve given me some writing projects that seem to have stalled. Should I be doing more there? There are people who might need me to be reaching out to them more proactively. While Zacchaeus was corrupt from a monetary standpoint, am I selfish with my time?

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, search my heart today and reveal to me where I might be selfish. If it is money…time…personal comfort. If maybe I’m too timid when I talk about you. Do I need to share you with others more? Do I need to get better at managing the relationships between those who work with me? Help me to lean on you in every moment of this day. I give you my worship and praise.

I pray all of this under the authority of your Holy Name,


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Posted by on April 27, 2023 in Luke


Mary: Parenting the Child

Dear God, as I think about trying to get into Mary’s (Jesus’s mother) skin, I think I want to break it into four parts:

  • Conception, Pregnancy & Birth
  • Parenting the Child
  • Parenting the Adult & Crucifixion
  • Resurrection & Post-Ascension

So today I want to look at the second part. From presenting Jesus at the temple through finding him at the temple as a boy (temple to temple, so to speak, we get a look at what her life and perspective might have been like as the mother of God’s son.

Presenting at the Temple

This story to me is all about the prophecies of Simeon and Anna, but it starts with the fact that this poor couple was doing their duty, but they could barely afford to do it. But offering the two young pigeons as a sacrifice also reminds me that the least of the sacrifices was good enough for Jesus. You don’t have to have great resources to give a child everything he or she needs.

But back to Simeon and Anna. Simeon tells gives her two important pieces of information. First, he affirms to her that this child is who she and Joseph think he is. He calls Jesus his salvation and talks about how he will be a light for Gentiles and glory for Israel. Then he gives them a warning: He will cause many in Israel to rise and fall, the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed, and a sword will pierce Mary’s soul. As far as I can tell, this is the first time anyone has told Mary that this will be a difficult journey.

Then Anna came up and affirmed to Mary and Joseph that Jesus was special, even telling everyone around how special this child would be. This was a day of affirmation, but there was obviously a warning for Mary as well that she carried with her the rest of her life.

The Wise Men

This is my first time to use any scripture from Matthew to talk about Mary. As the wise men arrive, Matthew 2 tells us, “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him.” I wish Matthew gave us just a little more about these guys. I know other, non-New Testament sources give some more details, but I wish they were here because I’m wanting to stick to what’s actually in the text of the new Testament. But I think the big thing to know here is that Mary got another affirmation from these men, however many of them there were. I also have theories on what Mary and Joseph used the gifts for, but that’s another topic.

The Flight to Egypt

Here’s another story we get from Matthew. Luke skips all of the Egypt stuff and has them going straight to Nazareth, but Matthew takes us to Egypt and then eventually back to Nazareth in an indirect way. But taking the story of Joseph being told in a dream to go to Egypt and seeing it from Mary’s perspective, once I made up this dialogue that could have happened in the middle of the night between them:

Joseph: Mary! Mary, wake up!

Mary: What? What is it?

Joseph: We have to go.

Mary: What do you mean, “We have to go”? Go where?

Joseph: Egypt

Mary: Egypt?!? What are you talking about? Can’t we talk about this in the morning?

Joseph: No. The angel said we have to go immediately.

Mary: You saw an angel?

Joseph: Yes, the angel came to me like he did before and told me, “Get up! Take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to kill him.”

Mary: What?!? Are you sure that’s what he said?

Joseph: As sure as I was when he visited me last time and told me to marry you.

Mary: Okay, lets go!

For a mom to know that the king is out to kill her son–I cannot imagine what kind of fear that would generate. You have to protect the boy at all costs. He’s your son so you want to protect him anyway, but given that this was also God’s son, the protection of Jesus was paramount. This call to raise God’s son was going to cost both Mary and Joseph dearly. It was not an easy road. In fact, it was a particularly hard road. She gave up a lot to be Jesus’s mother.

Back to Israel and Nazareth

I cannot help but wonder how Mary felt about being sent home and going back to Nazareth. Would her family believe her about Jesus? Was it going to be okay for Jesus to grow up there? Would it be okay for her and Joseph? Would he be safe? So, so much uncertainty.

They Lost Jesus

I want to take some time to just sit in the period between when they realized Jesus was gone and they found him. What amazing fear they must have had! Was he taken by the soldiers and the current king? Was he dead? Where was he? This was God’s son. Had they messed up and done a bad job of parenting him? Had they failed? Was it all for nothing?

I’ve known parents to have lost their children at places like the store or the local county fair. Those moments are moments of terror. Thankfully, in the cases of the people I’ve known, they were only moments and the children were quickly found. But those minutes or hours were unbelievably stressful to them. I can only imagine how much more so given the fact that Jesus had been pursued by Herod in the past. That hundreds or thousands of children had died as a result. Had it finally come to pass that they had gotten him? Had Herod or whomever the king at the time was won?

The other side of this is how it violated trust that Mary and Joseph had obviously put in Jesus. They trusted him to not do things like this. I would imagine that their first instinct was probably not that he had wandered off on his own.


It took them three days–THREE DAYS–to find him. When they found him he was in the temple with the teachers, listening and asking questions.

Mary’s psyche is telling: “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” She was that combination of angry and thrilled all at once. The relief combined with the anger must have been incredible. But then what was she to make of him being in the temple? With the teachers? What did all of this mean? How will it play out?

Father, I find myself asking a lot of questions in these prayers, both on my behalf and Mary’s. The truth is that she was doing her best to love and care for this boy, but there was no possible way she could know what you had in store for Jesus. How could she? There’s no way I knew then or I know now what you are doing not only in my own life, but in the lives of my children too. I have no idea. But I know I love them. I know I’m rooting for them and their happiness. I’m rooting for them to find peace. I’m rooting for how they know you. My job, like Mary’s, is to do what I can to be the parent you need me to be while not getting in the way of what you are trying to do. Help me to be exactly what you need me to be today.

I pray all of this in your Holy Name,



Mary: Conception, Pregnancy & Birth

Dear God, as I think about trying to get into Mary’s (Jesus’s mother) skin, I think I want to break it into four parts:

  • Conception, Pregnancy & Birth
  • Parenting the Child
  • Parenting the Adult & Crucifixion
  • Resurrection & Post-Ascension

So today I want to look at the first part. I want to think about everything from Gabriel’s visit in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (Luke 1:26) through the shepherds’ visit (Luke 2:16).

Part 1: Angel Visit

I noticed that Gabriel gives Mary a little more latitude than he gave Zechariah when he was questioned by each of them about how these pregnancies could be. I wonder if he didn’t know that Zechariah needed the quiet to really prepare while Mary needed supportive community and relationship. She needed to be able to talk–to Joseph, Elizabeth, etc. Maybe. Just maybe.

Also, Mary had no idea what she was saying yes to. Ignorance was her ally in this case because if she had known what the future had in store (from a manger birth to a crucified son), she might not have had the courage to accept. A lot was about to happen to her over the next 33 years. Actually, for the rest of her life, but especially the next 33 years.

I don’t want to miss what Gabriel told Mary about Jesus’s birth. This child will be the son of God. He will sit on David’s throne. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will have no end. No pressure there. I confess I’ve always wondered about this prophecy. From an earthly standpoint it simply didn’t happen. Why did you mislead her like that? Or did you mislead her? I can’t help but think of the fact that my eyes see so little. Our eyes, as humans, see so little. In the spiritual realm, Jesus does, indeed, sit on David’s throne and rules over the house of Jacob. He does indeed. But on this side of the veil it’s hard for any of us to see, including Mary.

Part 2: Buyer’s Remorse?

I wonder how much Mary regretted or was afraid of what she had committed to after Gabriel left and she had time to think about it. A lot of realities had to have set in for her. What will my parents, Joseph, friends, family and the greater community say? Will Joseph leave me? Will the townspeople stone me? Is my life in danger? How am I going to raise this baby? Did I imagine the whole thing or did I really talk to an angel? Am I really pregnant? This was not how she thought her life would go at all.

I love how you provided Elizabeth and Zechariah for her. I mean, really, what a great thing for you to do. Life Ruth for Naomi, you gave Mary the knowledge that there was a weird, God-driven pregnancy in her own family so she went there looking for support. If anyone was going to believe her, Elizabeth and Zechariah were probably her best shot. And you affirmed her when she got there. She never had to say a word to Elizabeth. Elizabeth became a prophet and proclaimed your truth to her. She not only felt loved in that moment, but she also had to be somewhat relieved to have some validation. She wasn’t crazy. You were with her. She got to tell the story of Gabriel’s visit with excitement instead of trepidation. I wonder if she and Zechariah even compared notes on how he looked, with Mary talking to Zechariah and Zechariah writing his descriptions down. This whole part of the story had to have filled her with so much worship of you, affirmation and courage. In fact, we know it did because she broke out into “Mary’s Song.” She doesn’t completely understand what you will do through Jesus. She still have a human’s eye for what to expect from you and this child. But she is certainly feeling good and relieved in this moment, worshipping you throughout.

Part 3: Bethlehem

Here’s the first time we get to see Joseph in Luke’s Gospel, although Matthew seems to give us Joseph’s story without much of Mary’s. In Luke 2:1-5, they head to Bethlehem together. Their first trip alone? Maybe. Maybe it was their first time having to problem solve together. And then, in verse six, she gives birth and then we are given the information that she had to put him in a manger be cause there was no lodging available for them.

Forget the details for a bit. Was it a barn? A cave? It doesn’t matter. What we know is that this was not the optimum place to have to give birth and then care for a newborn. I can only imagine the emotions of that night. The fear. No money. They obviously didn’t have a regular place to stay or they would have given birth there. No, I personally think they might have been camping outside of town. She could have given birth in their tent and then laid the baby in the manger. They could have even brought the manger into their little tent. I don’t know. But I know if it were me I would have been scared and wondering if you were really in this. Why would you allow your son to be born into such poverty? Was it okay that I laid him in a feed trough. This would seem to be an absolute mess. This simply isn’t how this should be going. Was I letting you down? These would be my thoughts.

Then here comes the next round of affirmations. Mary has these dirty shepherds show up with a great tale about angels, songs, and prophecies. And there is one key prophecy that they tell her: they were told they would find Jesus in a manger. Such a specific detail. God sees and God is not upset. He is blessing Mary and Joseph with these wonderful affirmers. He could have chosen anyone to affirm them or announce Jesus’s birth to. The local church or city leaders. The Pharisees. The high priest in Jerusalem. But he went the other way. He found the most unlikely candidates. I don’t know why. If I were to guess, it would be that these guys were no threat to Mary’s and Joseph’s authority over Jesus’s young life. They were just glad to be part of it, and admiring of the young couple. In my mind, anyone else might have tried to get the baby away from them. But these guys were humble, worshipful, and affirming.

Father, thank you for the affirmations you have been giving to me lately. Even as problems have arisen over the last week or two, you have simultaneously brought me solutions. Thank you. Thank you for the success of our dinner. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for absolutely everything you are doing for me. You know the particular cloud that is hanging over my heart right now. Make my path straight as I try to figure out what I am supposed to do or NOT supposed to do. Make it clear to me. I only want to do what will bring about your will on earth as it is in heaven.

I pray all of this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, my Triune God,


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Posted by on April 3, 2023 in Luke


Luke 18:1-8

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Luke 18:1-8

Dear God, I had lunch recently with a friend and we were talking about how you are going to do what you are going to do, and our lives aren’t about us, but they are about you and how you might use us for your purposes. That’s all really neat and tidy for me. Pretty simple. Then I come across a parable like this from Jesus. The only line, “I don’t pray because it changes God. I pray because it changes me,” doesn’t seem to fit with this one. Can you really be changed?

I guess it goes back to verse 1. Why did Jesus tell this parable? Not all parables start with the moral of the story, but this one does. The point of the parable is to tell me that I should always pray and never give up. Always pray and never give up. My wife and I pray together every day. Sometimes it feels hopeless. In fact, yesterday, I told her that I felt hopeless with something of the things we pray about often. Just hopeless. As I thought about that this morning, I started to try to think of a parable where desperate prayer made an impact. This is the one that came to mind.

Father, you know what I prayed about this morning. You know what I prayed about yesterday, the day before that, and the day before that. For some of these things I’ve been praying for 10 years. And I confess to you that sometimes I lose faith. Sometimes I feel hopeless. But then you remind me through stories like this that I just need to keep praying and never give up. You also remind me through the stories of your people that most of the time the person doing the praying never lives to see the day their prayers are answered. Who am I to expect any different. So I have my concerns today, and I lift them to you. Does it change you? I don’t think it does as much as I would like it to, but I do think you are working in ways that I cannot see, and it is just my job to believe in you, trust in you, and have the faith in the things I hope for but cannot see. Help me to live out those words I just wrote.

I pray this through Jesus’s life, death and resurrection,


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Posted by on March 29, 2023 in Luke


Mark 6:53-56

When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Mark 6:53-56

Dear God, for whatever reason the word “ran” caught my attention this morning. The first version of this story I read used the word “scurried.” These are words that apply to humans and not you. Whether it’s the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, the image of any type of franticness just doesn’t fit—except for one example.

When I was in college there was a song by Benny Hester called “When God Ran.” The only time we get an image of you running is in the Prodigal Son story. The second part of Luke 15:20:

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

To quote “When God Ran”: The only time I ever saw him run is when he ran to me, took me in his arms, held my head to his chest, said, “My son’s come home again!” lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes, with forgiveness in his voice he said, “Son, do you know I still love you?” It took me by surprise when God ran.

Father, as a dad—as a dad who has been left by a child—I can see at least a little of this in me. It’s interesting because it really hasn’t left me angry at this child. I can see myself responding exactly how Jesus describes you in this parable. I heard a podcast last week who where a mom and dad were missing an adult daughter who had left. When she finally answered the phone one day, His first words were, “Please don’t hang up. We don’t care what you’ve done. We love you.”

Father, help me to live my life in such a way that franticness is not a part of it. Give me peace. Help me to exude you. And I pray that you will one day give me the opportunity to run to my child.

I pray this all under your authority, trusting in you no matter what.


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Posted by on February 6, 2023 in Luke, Mark


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“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

Dear God, I just watched a news story about Ukraine and I thought about those poor people. I just got an email from a friend at another nonprofit who is trying to help a woman not in her right mind. I could just sit here and list person after person who needs you. Needs your peace. The poor people in Ukraine. It’s Christmas Eve afternoon there right now and they have little chance for peace tonight. They are cold, hungry, and in constant danger. Can your favor rest on them? Can you give them peace?

By some freak of luck, I was born into a powerful country. I was born into Rome. While my life might always be in a low-grade danger from a fellow citizen, there is not much another country can do to me in this moment to hurt me. I didn’t earn this “peace,” but it is afforded to me by the luck of the draw.

Father, I’m not even sure what I’m praying for this morning except to say that my heart hurts for those who are suffering. Show me what to do. Show me how to do it. And please move through your people to bring peace to those on whom your favor rests. Give them your peace. And bring glory to you in the highest heaven.

I pray all of this in your name, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,


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Posted by on December 24, 2022 in Luke


Luke 1:38-40

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth.
Luke 1:38-40

Dear God, we all need support. In this case, it’s obvious Mary needed some. In this case, there were only two people in the world who could relate to what she was going through: Elizabeth and Zechariah. And she needed them. It’s a double blessing that you used a family member (one married to a priest, no less) to be her support.

Family can be such a tricky thing. Someone was telling me recently that they had had it with some family members and they were just going to move on without them and focus on their friends who didn’t give them so much grief. I reminded the person that friends don’t have the opportunity to hurt us like family members do, and it is easier to cut loose friends when they do hurt us. But there are also times when family is all we have.

I was talking with a woman yesterday about a friend she is trying to help. The person’s friend is seemingly an alcoholic and unable to care for herself. She’s divorced. I asked if she has children. Apparently, she has three, only one of which is talking to her and all of which are exhausted by her. She needs them to step up now.

Father, I do not claim to have done this right. I’ve made my share of mistakes in family relationships. I’ve been hurt by family. I’ve been blessed by family. Help me to be exactly who you need me to be for my family—as a father, husband, son, brother, and uncle. Make me who you need me to be.

I pray all of this by you Holy Name,


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Posted by on December 21, 2022 in Luke


Luke 20:27-40

27 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. 28 They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. 29 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 30 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. 31 Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. 32 Finally, the woman also died. 33 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!”

34 Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. 35 But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. 36 And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection.

37 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”

39 “Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there. 40 And then no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Luke 20:27-40

Dear God, I’ve come across this passage several times over the last few weeks. Are you trying to tell me something? I talk a lot about idols and trying to identify the idols in my life. How much is my wife an idol for me? How much do I look to her to provide what the Holy Spirit should be providing in my life? How much do I get my sense of worth from her instead of you.

I heard someone recently describe the relationship we will have with our spouse in the next life as a “special relationship.” Much like we will know our children, parents, and other special people there, we will know our spouse. But what Jesus is saying is that we will have moved beyond the human needs that are met through marriage and into a new angel-like existence That exists around you. I have to tell you, the idea of existing on that reality plain is very appealing to me. I’m good here. I’m happy to live the life you’ve given me here on earth. Frankly, mine is very easy compared to most of the world. I’m happy to try to hear what you’ve called me to do and then follow your calling. But I also have a great hope that this is nothing compared to a pure existence in the timeless reality of your presence.

It makes me think of a Rich Mullins song called “Land Of My Sojourn.” There’s a line in the song that says, “So I’ll call you my country, but I’ll be lonely for my home.” Yeah. I’m happy to be an American, but I don’t find my peace in that. I’m happy to live in my community. I’m happy to be the husband you need me to be for my wife. I’m happy to do whatever it takes to be the father you need me to be for my children (although it feels like I’ve been a failure on many levels there). I’m happy to serve my community. But it feels like the closer I get to you the more loosely I hold onto all of it.

Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus, show me even more today what it means to call you my God. Show me how to be my wife’s husband. Show me how to find my love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness faithfulness, kindness, self-control, etc. in you and not look to her to give me those things. Sharpen me through her. Make me into the man you need me to be through her and the other relationships in my life. Be glorified in all of this.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on November 19, 2022 in Luke


Luke 21:9-18

“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.

12 “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 You will be hated by all because of my name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.”

Luke 21:9-18

Dear God, I was listening to the Bible in a Year podcast from Ascension Press this morning, and this was part of the reading. The part that caught my ear was verses 14 and 15: “So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand.”

I have a meeting later today that concerns me. I’m not entering it with any malice in my heart, but I am afraid that others might be coming with malice. I just want to help. I want to help people in our community. I want to bring your light and hope into the world, but from the ground up, not the top down. Hearts need to be changed. People are walking in a fog. Parents are overwhelmed. Teachers and school personnel are, for lack of a better phrase, charging hell with a water pistol. I want to be your presence in that room today. I want to show others how much you love them. I want to show others what the fruits of the Spirit look like by first attaching my branch to your vine as securely as I am capable and then allowing your Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Father, make me a servant, humble and meek. Lord, let me lift up those who are weak. And my the prayer of my heart always be, “Make me a servant, make me a servant, make me a servant today.”

I pray this through Jesus’s life, death and resurrection, which allows me to come to you in prayer,


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Posted by on November 16, 2022 in Luke


Luke 7:18-20

18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

Luke 7:18-20

Dear God, I think we tend to read over this passage too much, but there’s a reason Luke tells this story. John was probably getting a lot of questions about Jesus, and he was apparently starting to doubt. Everyone was looking for victory over Rome. Everyone was looking for the glory of Israel’s height under David and Solomon. Everyone wanted to have agency over their own lives again. They wanted to feel important again. They wanted to have power and influence. They wanted to restore the world to the way it “should be.”

Here is what Jesus wanted: So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. (Luke 7:22-23) Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

I wonder how John interpreted this response. There’s nothing in here about revolution. The Messiah is apparently about nurturing the individual, not managing society. What is the “good news” he’s proclaiming to the poor? I think it’s that you love them too. Their lives matter to you. He’s going to them individually and bringing you to them. They have been put upon by society. They have been enslaved to pay debts. The have been shamed. Jesus’s words to them are, “No, you matter to the Father. And I am here to reconcile you to Him.”

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I want to be part of giving this message to the world as well. First, thank you for reconciling me to you. Thank you that I am a Gentile, and yet an heir to your realm. You accept me, even with my sin. I am…well, there is no way I can ever be grateful enough. Next, help me to be Jesus-like in my interactions with others. Let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth through my life and the lives of your church. Be glorified so that others might find their peace and hope in you.

I pray this through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus,


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Posted by on November 11, 2022 in Luke