UWORSHIP: Meditations on Luke 3:21-38

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 Luke 3:21-38


MEDITATION: The 12-year-old Jesus differentiates himself and his family ties to Mary and Joseph when they come looking for him in the Temple telling them, “I had to be about my Father’s work.” Now, age 30, Jesus comes to John to receive a water baptism and the scene is yet another manifestation of Jesus’ double lineage. The Holy Spirit comes in the form of a dove, and the voice of God the Father announces, “this is my Son on whom my favor rests.” Then Luke reminds us of Jesus’ ties to this world, citing a family tree that meanders through the pages of Old Testament history connecting Jesus to Joseph and David, to Abraham and Isaac, to Adam and God. Luke connects the dots to say this Jesus who was born in Bethlehem is kin to the whole human race. We all belong to God as daughters and sons. That’s a big family!

FOR DISCUSSION: Baptism is kind of like a Christian birthday celebrating our place in God’s family. What stories do you have about your own baptism? You may remember your baptism or not — or may never have been baptized — but you do have a place in God’s family. What significance do you feel in claiming your place in God’s family?

LINKS/OTHER RESOURCES: The genealogy in Luke looks very different from the one Matthew presents (see, Matthew 1). Many biblical scholars have tried to unravel the mystery of the two family trees, but none has come up with a perfect explanation for the differing accounts. The bottom line is this: Jesus was fully human and fully divine. One of the interesting details that Matthew incorporates are the women in Jesus’ family tree. For a fun walk through history, Caitlin Wert wrote this script she calls “Genealogy Girls.” Use it with your group as a type of reader’s theatre to get a unique sense of why it’s meaningful to our sense of worth to see the human side of Jesus.

Genealogy Girls: A Reader’s Theatre, by Caitlin Wert

Rev. Caitlin Werth is an ordained PC(USA) minister and the director of the Foundation of HOPE’s Pre-Release Program at Allegheny County Jail – an interfaith, rehabilitative program that empowers men and women to restore their relationship with God, rebuild their lives, and reconcile with their communities. Caitlin is passionate about love, education, and holistic care. She was an early member of Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community and served as co-leader of the creative arts team. During that time, she wrote several short scripts for use in Sunday services. These scripts sprung out of discussions from the creative arts team as a whole and speak to the thoughts, needs, and fears of the community at that time. Genealogy Girls is meant to remind us that God loves us, knows us by name, and holds a place for us all, no matter what we have done or what has been done to us.