Letters to Jesus While Undertaking a Reading of Luke

Letters to Jesus While Undertaking a Reading Luke-  July 29, 2019l

Chapter 1

Dear Jesus:

Several years before I discovered the difference between affirming faith in you as savior of humankind for the evil of the world and surrendering to Jesus Christ as master of my soul and personal savior for my own personal sinfulness, I engaged in behavior that I would have never considered that a “good little Christian girl” who grew up in the church”, as I had, would do. When I came to my senses, I clearly recall thinking, “I should be dead. Either there is not a god or God is not like what I thought he was.” It started me on a journey of discovery for what God really IS like that continues to this day. I thank God for that eye-opening realization that what I had thought about God was not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It may have contained a small kernel of truth learned in church classes and sermons, but there was so much more I had to discover on my own- through the Word, by the Holy Spirit, from God’s people, and in circumstances I have been brought to them and through them. My journey began, like the prodigal son’s, in a place of brokenness and revulsion, where no one gave me anything to satisfy the real hunger that I had. I look forward to beginning this journey through Luke again with a fresh sense of God’s timing and purpose to discover what God has for me along this stretch!

Following You,



July 29, 2019 at 6:29 am

Chapter 2

My Dear Jesus,
Thank you for Luke’s attention to detail and sense of order. A physician would notice such things and take the time to assure that we know we are getting all the facts. it is comforting. It provides structure and context and reminds me that nothing escapes your notice and intention. You have considered ALL THINGS, even down to the lineage of Elizabeth, from “daughters of Aaron,” the first priest. She figures prominently in the story and becomes an encouraging speaker of God’s prophetic word to the mother of Christ and the bearer of the playmate and older cousin, the baptizer and proclaimer of the Messiah. Her son, John the Baptist, becomes the first martyr in the cause of your mission. And even when he expresses a moment of doubt, you lovingly reassure him and remind him through tangible evidence.

Zacharias’ reaction to the angel of the Lord reminds me that righteousness and reverence contain an element of holy and appropriate fear but that you are a good and loving Divine God who hears our petitions and answers the deepest cries of our hearts with compassion. We need not quake in fear of destruction. We can receive your presence and your message with expectant joy and readiness to respond. Lord, I repent that I did not always recognize that children were a sign of your favor. I grieve that many have failed to see and acknowledge that truth. Use your people to bring that truth back to the world. Thank you that Catie Byrd Kelley, sweet granddaughter called and empowered by you, has embraced the ministry of life-sanctifying proclamation through her work in law. May her effort find favor in hearts and courtrooms.

It is interesting how that little phrase, “For nothing is impossible with God,” was used to convince a skeptical virgin that she would bear a child by assuring her that her much older menopausal barren cousin was also going to bear a child and was, in fact, already six months along! It apparently seemed more farfetched for Elizabeth to have conceived than for Mary herself to conceive and she was convinced and comforted! The angel’s case was made. Mary was not alone in this miracle and she hastened to go see Elizabeth. Surely, a six month pregnant Elizabeth and she would have a lot to talk about. Oh, Jesus, you do not leave us without role models, teachers, companions, and friends and confidants for comfort and accountability! You have created us for intimate fellowship and community. and with Zacharias struck mute for the entire term of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, this was the perfect time for Elizabeth and Mary to bond in their unique pregnancies and pray for their sons, search the Scriptures and prepare for their roles as mothers, too, to two children God had especially equipped and called for his work! I cannot imagine their excitement! It makes Mary’s proclamation of the Magnificat so much more understandable and relatable when seen in the light of the circumstances and timeframe.

Zacharias’ prophecy speaks of redemption as an accomplished fact with the birth of John. The wheels of it all are in motion. It is clear to Elizabeth, Mary, and him. Three witnesses are all that are required to establish the truth of it. And this chapter ends with “And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit….” (v.80). Jesus, you have shown me in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “be ye wholly sanctified- spirit, soul, and body”- that spirit is first and foremost that which is God’s charge to us as parents and individuals to cultivate in children, whether they are biological or spiritual children to us. And it’s why you put the name “Titus 2” on my heart for the discipleship ministry with women to which you called me. Nothing is wasted in your realm, Jesus. And truly, nothing is impossible with you, Holy One!

Thank you, Jesus, that you are this God that works in such intricate details and that Luke has shown us some of these details that preceded your birth and set the stage through the lives of Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, and John in today’s reading.

Desiring to experience more of your goodness daily,


August 2, 2019

Chapter 3

Dear Jesus,

John’s days in the wilderness prepared him for his ministry as the word of God came to him. The words of the prophet Isaiah resonated as he preached in the district around the Jordan River, a message of repentance of sins. The not-so-veiled message to the complacent and sinful Jews was that God would raise up sons from among non-Hebrews and that fruitless trees would be cut down and burned. He gave explicit instructions for actions that must be taken to transform the culture: share with the poor, don’t abuse taxing authority, don’t accuse falsely, be content with your wages….. so much so that people speculated that John might be the Christ. But John assured them that while he baptized with water, he was only the precursor of The One, you Jesus, who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John’s reproving exhortations would win him the adverse attention of Herod the tetrarch and bring him imprisonment.

You, Jesus, and your cousin John had spent many years studying the Law and Prophets. You both knew well the stories of your special birth announcements and your special purposes. God’s favor and anointing upon you both guided your lives on earth and brought about God’s salvation for all people. The message today is as powerful and relevant for hearers of the Gospel as it was when John heralded it and when you lived it out for us.

I read again your lineage listed by Luke. God created us as his children, even as Adam and Eve were created from clay and rib. Physically, we understand this. You, Jesus, as the Christ, have made it possible for us to be spiritually reborn as God’s children when we were separated from God by our sinfulness, even as Adam and Eve were separated from God’s presence in the Garden. When we feel the conviction of your Holy Spirit, repent, confess and return to you, you are pleased. Even when we are separated from fellowship with you, we are never separated from your love. We never cease to be your children.


Grateful for your love, even when I deserve your discipline,