By Vicki Scott
There is a challenge in the air that started December 1, 2022.
One of the ladies in our exercise class in Reeltown was reading a chapter of Luke each night until Christmas Eve. There were 24 chapters, and she would be finished on Christmas Eve. I took this as a challenge for me to do the same.
Luke was very detailed in accounts involving Jesus’ birth. Mary’s voice caused Elizabeth’s baby to jump in the womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when this happened! Elizabeth’s baby, named John, was born in this chapter. I have heard versions of this story many times, but I do not remember Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit in this instance. I am so glad I read it again.
Jesus was born in chapter two. There has been controversy concerning the place where the manger was located. Different versions of the Bible say different things. Some say a guest room, while the King James version says there was no room at the inn. I say this does not matter. There was no place for them to sleep except in a barn with a manger. What was most important is that Christ our Savior was born!
On the eighth day, Jesus was taken to the temple to be circumcised. At the temple at this time was an 84-year-old prophet named Anna who was widowed after seven years of marriage. She never left the temple, worshipping night and day, fasting and praying to meet Jesus. Her prayers were answered! I do not remember ever learning anything about Anna.
In the Gospel of Luke, the third chapter has the Baptism of Jesus, the four chapter has Jesus being tested, the fifth chapter has Jesus calling his disciples and the sixth chapter is a parallel of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. The other chapters were full of parables and miracles.
These must have built up my Holy Spirit to get me ready for Luke 24. Every year, my husband Alan and I host Christmas Eve at our lake house in Dadeville with our family and friends. This has been a tradition for more than 30 years, and it is such an honor. We eat, sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, watch the grandchildren open their presents and have Dirty Santa for the adults.
We did all of the above activities along with some extra. The extra started when everyone gathered for the blessing of the food. I am the matriarch of the clan, so I shared Luke chapter 24. I’m not sure exactly what I said, but I told of how after witnessing the crucifixion and hearing what the women said about the tomb being empty, some disciples did not believe the women. They went to the tomb and saw for themselves about what the women had said to be true, but still wondered.
Two of the disciples went to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from where they were. While on their journey, Jesus joined the disciples, but they did not recognize Him. I can relate to that. When I suffered losses of my first child and my mother and father, I could not tell you who was around me. This made sense to me, but there was something different in the situation with the disciples.
There was something about Jesus, because even though the disciples did not recognize Him, they wanted Him to stay with them until they finished their journey, even though Jesus pretty much called them a fool at some point during the journey because they did not believe. The disciples invited Jesus to eat, and when He broke bread, He was recognized.
The disciples thought they had seen a ghost, but Jesus soon proved that He was with them and had risen. After He had led them out, Jesus blessed them. They worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, praising God.
While we waited to eat, I told the family members within hearing range that I prayed for Jesus to be with us today as we celebrated His birth, and if we did not believe, this whole celebration was for nothing. I then asked Alan to bless the food. As we ate, someone asked the grandkids whose birthday we were celebrating. They said, “Jesus!” We sang “Happy Birthday to Jesus,” ate cake and opened presents.
After asking around to see if what I said sounded okay, my son-in-law Trey said (while smiling) that all he could think about while I was talking was the memories his children were going to have about Jesus that they learned at our Christmas gathering. He’s my favorite son-in-law.
Stay warm and safe, y’all!
Vicki Scott may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.