What is distinctive about Luke’s gospel?

Richard Bauckham writes: This is the text of a sermon I preached originally in Christ Church, Chelsea, in order to introduce the congregation to the Gospel of Luke near the beginning of a year C in the Lectionary (year of Luke). There is one difference between the Gospels that anyone can see quite easily without even reading … Continue Reading

The annunciation to Mary in Luke 1

The lectionary gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday in Advent is Luke 1.26–38; though this year’s gospel is Mark, there is (of course) no annunciation in Mark, so we plunder part of Luke’s narrative to fill the gap. I have previously posted on the annunciation in more general terms, noting that the account is rooted … Continue Reading

Jesus wasn’t born in a stable—and that makes all the difference

Alongside putting up the Christmas decorations (usually far too early), finding a Christmas tree, preparing for carol services and planning where to buy your turkey, one of the annual routines at Christmas is my posting the argument that Jesus was not born in a stable. I will continue to pursue this annual tradition, since it … Continue Reading

Celebrating the Transfiguration of Jesus

The Transfiguration is included as a Feast Day (liturgical colour: white) on August 6th in the Revised Common Lectionary, presumably as an ecumenical nod to the traditions of the Eastern churches. But it is already included on the last Sunday in Epiphany as well! Since we are reading Matthew this year, we have already read … Continue Reading

Preaching Christmas—without a Stable

Reading the nativity account in Luke 2 carefully highlights the way that the tradition of the stable is nowhere present. That’s all very well for scholars, people say, but how does that work in the practice of preaching? The answer is: rather well! This is what I said last time I preached on what Luke … Continue Reading

Does Jesus treat us as good-for-nothing slaves?

This Sunday’s lectionary reading from Luke offers some serious challenges to our understanding and practice. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. “Suppose … Continue Reading

The costly grace of Jesus in Luke 14

In the gospel reading for Trinity 12 in Year C, we complete our navigation through this section of Jesus’ intermingled teaching and action until we hit the landfall of the ‘parables of the lost’ next week in Luke 15. The double focus on the crowds and discipleship, the drawing together of teaching found in different … Continue Reading

The Politics of the Table in Luke 14

The lectionary gospel reading for Trinity  11 in Year C, Luke 14.1, 7–14, continues to engage with material that is unique to Luke, arranged in Luke’s distinctive order, and bridging the worlds of the original context of Jesus and Judaism and Luke’s context in wider Roman culture. The passage comes in a sequence of episodes … Continue Reading