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My First Read Through the Gospel of Luke

Well actually likely my 50th or more given my discipline of reading the entire Bible annually, but it is my first time to read it at age 74!

Like Simeon, I am waiting upon the full revelation of the Messiah. Yet in my flesh, I still struggle with what I have learned from so many others as well as my own academic ability, now that I have experienced the long ride of working alongside some of the best of theologians...warts and all.

When I get there, you know...cynicism can creep in when the most trusted fail you, or you, fail those who trusted you most...that human thing.

Luke and the other writers remind us that even Jesus' cousin, John, the one who leaped in his mother's womb upon hearing of Mary's immaculate conception, filled with the Spirit as a child, yet later in prison asks, "Are you the One or do we wait for another?"

The most learned of Jesus' time even recoiled at his reading of Isaiah "“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -Luke 4:18‭-‬19 NIV

Be it history or myth, I was once told that he then sat down in a seat in the temple reserved only for the Messiah, just before saying, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." I'm sure their thoughts were to stone this young carpenter's son for blasphemy.

He later, cried out in the garden, "if it be your will, let this cup pass from me" pleading with the confused fishermen that followed him, pray for "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." He was fully God, fully man

I always thought that as I matured, this thing we call the Christian walk would get easier. I now better understand the questions asked by one of my former pastor mentors at a time when he was struggling with his weakening condition just before his passing.

It was about 20 years ago and I decided to make a trip to Mobile, Alabama for a final visit.

He was struggling with dementia, but had moments of clarity when we talked about powerful days and spiritual moments passed, which we had shared together.

Just before I left, I asked if I could lay my hands on his head, as he had mine in earlier days. He asked with a blank stare, why? I told him it would mean much to me and he finally agreed.

I laid my hands upon him and prayed a simple prayer of Thanksgiving for his life and his support of my ministry. He suddenly interrupted with a youthful shout and the words, "Good God Almighty, it's been so long since I have felt this." Then he was again quiet. I buried this amazing human some days later.

He too was fully man.

At times I'm like Simeon, patient in my watch and bold in my faith. At other times like the imprisoned John the Baptist, struggling and even at times like Jesus in the garden, praying for strength and insight as I age.

We are spiritual beings on a human journey. Again, having never read Luke before, at least never at this place in my journey.

Just say'n!

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