Sister Elisabeth made me wonder. At the Benedictine Sisters Retreat, she asked us, “Can you imagine not having one of the gospels?”
We were spending the day looking at the gospel of Luke. While Luke shares many stories of Jesus also found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, he has many unique ones as well.
Without Luke’s account—or any one of the four—we would have an incomplete picture of Jesus.
Without the meticulous documentation of Luke, we would:
- Never know that baby John jumped in Elisabeth’s womb when Jesus, in Mary’s womb, came to visit
- Never hear the beautiful Magnificat sung by Mary when she found out she’d mother the Son of God
- Never know that lowly shepherds were the chosen ones to first hear the good news of Jesus’ birth
- Never read how the elderly Simeon and Anna praised baby Jesus in the temple after waiting, waiting, waiting on him for years
- Never hear a word about 12-year-old Jesus staying behind in Jerusalem to talk with the teachers
- Never be aware that Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding
- Never hear the story of the Good Samaritan or the parables of the prodigal son or the lost sheep or the rich fool or the watchful servant or the rich man and Lazarus or the persistent widow
- Never grasp the hospitality of Martha and Mary
- Never feel the joy of the widow at Nain whose only son was raised by Jesus or the crippled woman healed on the Sabbath or the ten lepers who were made clean
Without these rich pictures of Jesus through the stories of Luke (and other exclusive ones not listed here), we’d know Jesus a little less. Less of his prayer life, his compassion for outcasts, his radical kindness toward women, his joyfulness.
So I wonder. . .
Without you, without me, without others who know Jesus now, would our image of Jesus be a little fuzzier, a little poorer, knowing a little less about him? While we all share common stories, we all have unique ones as well.
- The same Good News but a variety of voices
- The same Hero but a mixture of stories
- The same Family but oh, such diverse members
I grow a little more when I hear your stories of Jesus; perhaps you’re helped when you hear a little more of mine. So you keep telling yours; I’ll keep telling mine.
And together, we’ll know Jesus more and more.
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