Chapter & verse: Luke 1:39-56
Think of what it feels like to be told really big news. There can be a blizzard of emotions: Shock and bewilderment, delight and wonder, uncertainty and confusion. Often, our response is all about trying to find out more – we want to know what this means now and what this might mean for the future.
We hear of a family bereavement. We are told about a pregnancy. A friend’s job is at risk. Our health is under threat. War breaks out. For many of us, the computer and mobile phone offer a perpetual parade of news. Within seconds we are able to cling to stories surfing the world. Big news breaks upon us and things change for us.
Luke has announced in the very first lines of the Gospel that we’re in for big news. He reassures “most honourable Theophilus” that what follows is “a careful summary for you, to reassure you of the truth of all you were taught.” (1:1,3). Big news can be manipulated. Truth and lies can coexist. Whom do we trust? How do we know what’s really real and what really matters if we’re deluged in stories? Luke’s reasons for writing a gospel seem very 21st-Century…
Neil Thorogood is principal of Westminster College, Cambridge
This is an extract from the December 2015/January 2016 edition of Reform.