For Each of Us and for All of Us

A man holding a book speaks to people receiving bread from baskets.
St Luke shares food and good news with the poor in Winnipeg.

St Luke's telling of the Good News of Jesus Christ in both his eponymous gospel and the Acts of the Apostles is, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful writing in the New Testament. The language and imagery is elegant and thoughtful, educated and engaging without being condescending or inaccessible. It speaks powerfully of a God who is deeply in love with all of creation, especially humanity. It also speaks truth in love, reminding those with more influence, power, and wealth than they need that it is incumbent upon them to share more generously. For the mighty who seek to hold power for themselves, Luke's gospel warns that they will be cast down from their thrones as the lowly are lifted.

Historians generally believe that St Luke was an educated man, very likely a physician or someone who understood the medical ideas of his day. He writes with an uncommon sophistication and an appreciation for human physiology and what is beautiful in the world. He is keenly aware of the Greek literary tradition, consistent with a well-educated man of his world. The focus of his gospel on the needs of the poor and marginalized also makes sense for one who has been trained in a healing and helping profession. It is unsurprising that a man like this was attracted to the message of Jesus. The consistent emphasis of Jesus's message on God's saving work through love being for all people and evidenced in consistent healing of hurts in the world seem well in line with what we know of St Luke.

I believe what is critical for us to reflect on when we think of our brother, St Luke, today, is his concern for the hurts of the world and his commitment to salvation as a corporate event. In a world where division is increasing, tensions are rising, and deadly conflict is becoming more and more common on global and local scales, our relationship to our neighbour is ever more important. The witness of Christians as those who care for their neighbours, who eschew violence, and who work for healing hurts of all kinds is more important now than ever.

We, who believe in a God who cares for everything that God made, must also share God's concern for the whole of creation. If my neighbour is cold, then I am cold. If my neighbour is hungry, then I am hungry. If my neighbour is imprisoned or hated or fleeing for their life, then I, too, am threatened. And we both deserve liberation from the sin that terrorizes us, infects those who would do us harm, and, God forbid, makes us into the mighty who believe we are entitled to our thrones.

The good news of Jesus Christ is for all of us. As our brother St Luke reminds us, it is for each of us, but also all of us together as well. We rise and fall together. May we live as if we believe this to be true.

Andrew Rampton

Andrew Rampton

Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant and Treaty 3 Territory