The Word for today:
I've often been asked what the most important book in the Bible happens to be. But I consider that God's business; the question is not mine to answer.
I've also been asked which book is my favorite--Which book would I choose if I could have only one of the 66 books. That's a question I can answer:
Luke. If I could have just one, Luke's the one.
Why? Let me count the ways…
The writing, itself, is exquisite; at times it is sublime.
Evocative and essential stories appear here and no where else: "The Prodigal Son;" "The Road to Emmaus;" "The Good Samaritan;" the story of Zacchaeus, the little man who climbed a tree and met a great big Jesus.
The best telling of the Christmas story is found in Luke. (Ironically, the greatest moment in the history of godless, commercial TV--"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown"--is quoting Luke.)
Simeon and Anna, reminiscent of many today who are watching for Jesus' return, are found only here.
Zechariah and Elizabeth and the young--nascent!--John the Baptist can only be found here.
The awesome and breathtaking Mary is found here as nowhere else. Read her words very carefully, and you will find out where Jesus, literally and figuratively, is coming from.
But most of all, here's Jesus:
Jesus at twelve years old--the Word of God lost in the Temple--can only be found right here. Turn the page, and here's Jesus at 30; preaching his first sermon, then informing his audience that the scripture he'd just taught was fulfilled in the moment that they'd heard it!
Turn the page, and someone's hunting me: the Son of Man, who came here looking for me--and kept on looking and looking and looking for me, right up until the day I found him:
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)
I'm so glad for the sixty and six, but if it came right down to it, Luke's the one. Because Luke's all about the one who left behind the ninety and nine to come looking just for me. (1)
(1) see Luke 15:4