Author Topic: The Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist  (Read 239 times)

J. Thomas Shelley

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The Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist
« on: October 17, 2020, 11:36:25 PM »
The Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist is one of the rare, blessed days  universally commemorated by Orthodox and Western Christians alike on the 18th day of October...the nuances of New Calendar/Old Calendar and Western transferals to Monday notwithstanding.

It has been six years since this Feast last fell on a Sunday.  For Orthodox Christians there is no conflict between Sunday as the weekly Resurrectional Feast and the Commemoration of a Saint, for the Resurrectional hymns are meshed with those for the Saint like a pair of gears.

Eleven years ago was my final time to preach on a Sunday celebration of the Feast of St. Luke.  What follows is an after-the-fact reconstruction of a sermon preached first literally embracing an embossed metal lectionary (Gospel Book) cover...and ending by embracing another writing...obviously there were many details omitted from this framework/outline.

Lectionary cover....the book of the Gospels

At the center, Jesus Crucified, Jesus Risen---the heart of every Gospel.

At the corners, each Evangelist, each portrayed with another character.

Matthew with human--genealogy extending to David, then Adam

Mark with lion--begins with the roaring cry of John the Baptist “REPENT”

John (Taffax helicopter) a whole different plane, weaving together in unique ways--the Eagle.

Which leaves Luke, portrayed with an Ox--not bull-headed, but because the story begins and ends in the temple, the place for sacrificing an ox for REALLY big sins.

Begins with the annunciation to Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, at the hour of incense, rope tied around his ankle lest God should smite him dead.

Ends with “continually in the temple, praising God.”

And for Luke, the praise of God conveyed through the marvelous canticles of the opening chapters, the canticles of the Church’s daily prayer and Eucharistic gathering, such as “Glory to God in the Highest”.

And there is one song which ties so much of Luke's Gospel together from Buryl Red’s Celebrate Life canatata...In remembrance of me.

In remembrance of me, eat this bread
In remembrance of me, drink this wine

A Gospel set at table--Simon the leper, eating with tax collectors--”fling a feast” for the prodigal--and guess what happens to the fatted calf in ordre for that feast to take place-we’re back to the ox again.

In remembrance of me, pray for the time that God’s own will is done.

Cast in prayer....often the notation “while He was praying”--as on the Mount of Transfiguration. Detail NOT included by Matthew or Mark.

In remembrance of me, heal the sick

Luke the Physicians (Colossians 4:14)--a special concern for the healing miracles and details of the ailments.

In remembrance of me, feed the poor

1:3 verses deal with wealth and poverty:  Poor Man Laz’rus and Rich man Dives

In remembrance of me, open the door and let your brother in, let him in.

Eating with outcasts and sinners...

In remembrance of me, search for truth
In remembrance of me, always love
In remembrance of me, don’t look above, but in your hearts for God.

This was the part that always troubled me.  Search for truth, always problem
Not even “don’t look above” for that conveys the words of the angels at the Ascension in Luke’s second book, the Acts of the Apostles--”don’t look above--this Jesus who was taken from you shall return”.

But “look in your heart”?  I fear my heart, for I know that it is a divided heart.  Part yearns for God, but part seeks my own pleasure and need and desire.  But to look in your heart, that is a very Lukan phrase.

For Luke offers us another--different--sort of writing.  The Church of the East never speaks of “painting” an Icon but of “writing” and Icon.  Luke is believed to have written the Icon of the Madonna with child, when both he and Mary the Mother of our Lord were living in Ephesus--that same community of faith to which St. Paul wrote the Epistle with the name “Ephesians”.  And he wrote it of her who “pondered all these things and treasured them in her heart” so that she points to Christ. 

This is our highest calling--to point to Christ, Jesus Crucified, Jesus Risen.

Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth!

At the third to final paragraph I had picked up a very large Icon of the Virgin of Smolenska....briefly covering the Gospel book, returning the Icon to its stand before the final two lines.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 10:19:14 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015


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Re: The Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2020, 01:51:17 PM »
We commemorated St. Luke in the prayers, but otherwise observed the appointed Sunday propers for the 19th Sunday after Trinity: Matthew 9:1ff. I was blessed to be preach and celebrate this weekend. And beside the joy of the Sacrament (which is always the best), we also had the joy of singing together “Lord, Thee I Love.” I don’t think I’ll ever tire of singing that lovely piece.
William Weedon, Assistant Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel IL
Catechist on LPR Podcast: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
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