Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jogging (and Blogging) through Luke: Introduction

I always find it rather remarkable how we Christians manage to overlook the most obvious things about the Good Book. If we opened up any other book, we would likely see its elements in their proper perspective immediately. We know, for instance, opening up a great book like Treasure Island that the book is all about a clever boy who discovers friendship, honor, and courage while discovering treasure. He becomes rich in more ways than one.

But no one would dream when they open up Treasure Island that the book was all about sailing. "Look!" they might cry, "sailing is everywhere in the story. How could anything in the book come to be without the unfurling snap of the clean white cloth?" Such an idea is of course quite ludicrous, and with almost any book (there are a few, unfortunately) such a misunderstanding would be unlikely. With the Bible, however, and in particular the Gospels, we have been told what is in them so long before we actually read them from start to finish that it is quite impossible to experience Jesus without some degree of myopia.

I remember as a young boy watching episodes of the children's program, Wishbone. For those of you lucky enough to have escaped the corrupting influence of Wishbone I will give it a brief description: A spotted dog, named (you guessed it) Wishbone, helps young children escape from bad television sets masquerading as dangerous barns, bad neighborhoods, and forgotten caves, all the while re-enacting classic works of literature with himself as the main character. I can just imagine the board meeting that gave the green light to Wishbone:

Chairman: Have any of you seen the statistics just out from the Board of Education? A majority of our students have never read Treasure Island.

Board Member 1: Impossible!

Board Member 2: Why, I read that when I was a boy!

Board Member 3: I can hardly believe it.

Chairman: Ladies and Gentlemen, with this kind of illiteracy running rampant through our schools, we must take action. Any ideas?

A Man dressed in Black emerges from a dark corner of the board room

Man In Black: How about a television show?

Board Member 3: Television! That's it. If they won't read it, they'll watch it!

Board Member 2: But who wants to put all that time and energy into making great adaptions of great works of literature? Who will foot the bill?

Man In Black: We'll make them cheap.

Board Member 1: Splendid!

Chairman: But how will we get kids to watch it? These things are so far above their illiterate little minds.

Man In Black: It will feature little stories they can relate to like Peter getting trapped in a barn in a storm, or Jimmy getting bullied by a clean cut teen Gap model at school.

Chairman: This sounds better and better. But how would we ever sell it? There has to be something in it everybody loves.

The Man in Black raises a covered cage and removes the black cloth with a whirl. We see a spotted dog snarling.

Man In Black: Everybody loves dogs... (he chuckles evilly)

Chairman: What a brilliant idea! We'll ruin the plot of every major work of literature by starring a dog in the title role!

Board Members 1&2: Hurrah!

Board Member 3: It's like a dream come true!

Man in Black: We will name him... Wishbone!

Okay, so that might be a little over the top, but you get the point. When it comes to Scriptures, we've been inundated with so many Wishbone versions that we often fail to recognize the obvious themes that should leap out at us. So I will be blogging my reading of Luke to try and break through the Mosaic veil to the glorious Truth behind it.

And since this was a long post, it will serve as a mere Introduction...

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