duck5

procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Luke 2.8-20 Structure

Beginning
8 And there were shepherds outdoors in the country nearby watching the watch during the night of their sheep.

Predicament
9 And a messenger of the Lord stood above them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid (feared a great fear).

Quest
10 And the messenger said to them, “Don’t be afraid! for look - I am preaching the good news to you of great joy which will be for the whole people. 11 For born to you today is the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord in the city of David. 12 And this shall be for you the sign: you shall find an infant wrapped and lying in a food trough.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the messenger a great army of heaven, praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and peace upon earth, in people good will.”

Complication
15 And when the messengers departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another: “Then let’s go up to Bethlehem and see this thing which has happened, which the Lord made known to us.”

Resolution
16 And they made haste to go, and discovered Mary and Joseph and the infant lying in the food trough.

Denouement
17 After they had seen him they spread about the word which was spoken to them about this child, 18 and everyone who heard was amazed about what was said by the shepherds to them. 19 But Mary stored up all these words to consider them in her heart.

Ending
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God about everything which they heard and saw, [which had been] just as it was said to them.

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As you can see, the Beginning and Ending mirror each other, although the Ending scenario is very much a 'same same but different' - they are still shepherds, but are now shepherds in a brand-new reality.

I haven't been able to work out if the word for 'made haste' in v16 has carried over into the English word 'spew'. The Greek is σπευδω (speudo), which made me think of the Latin vomitorium, a large passageway for getting people out of a stadium quickly - so I wonder if σπευδω also has the same route into English?!

The last thing to note before I preach on this this Sunday is the speed with which the promise is fulfilled. The words 'find', 'infant' and 'food trough' are found in v12 and v16 (interestingly the clothing is not referred to), as Luke emphasises God's faithfulness - he has promised and fulfilled this promise, how much more his other promises of a peace-bringing saviour!

Merry Christmas

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