More Than An Onramp

by DanWolgemuth on December 1, 2023

It seemed providential. Right as we enter the 2023 Advent season, I’m landing in the book of Luke in my regular Bible readings. On closer inspection, page 857 in my ESV Bible shows as much wear as any page in my Bible. That’s Luke 2. A chapter that carries the heading… The Birth of Jesus Christ.

It’s a chapter that tugs me back to the days when Mary and I lived in Fort Wayne as young parents. In anticipation of Christmas we worked with Andrew and Erik to memorize a section of Luke 2… “And so it was that the days were completed for her to be delivered…”.

Yes, a treasure to be sure.

But this year, as I began my journey through the book of Luke, I got stuck. A righteous roadblock has prevented me from making a hasty exit out of chapter 1. I’m afraid that in the past I’ve been guilty of making Luke 1 the onramp to the Christmas Story Super Highway.

What a gross disservice. And frankly, an affront to the vastness, significance and glory of this Christmas story. And perhaps, one of the most significant theological oversights I could make.

It is Luke 1 that pours the footers for the foundation of truth. It is Luke 1 that builds an indestructible bridge between the Old Testament and the New. It is Luke 1 that escorts Jesus into the world with both the improbable and impossible as companions. It is Luke 1 that reminds us that when God calls us, He surrounds us. And when He surrounds us, He walks with us. And when He walks with us, our hearts explode in praise.

Prophecy becomes reality.

Today, with some of the most sophisticated technology possible, we can’t predict the weather accurately for more than a few days. Yet, prophets like Malachi and Isaiah flawlessly highlight the coming of the Messiah. A Messiah who wouldn’t appear for hundreds of years. A waymaker in front of Jesus who would make the path straight. A teenaged virgin who would carry the hope of the world along with the shame of presumption.

Before Luke 2. Luke 1.

Before the dogeared pages, a spotlight into history.

Before the claims of Jesus, the credibility of the prophets.

Before the choirs of angels, a solitary man in the temple having a conversation with Gabriel.

Before the wisemen worshiped, a teenaged girl bowed her heart.

Before Mary, Elizabeth.

Before a teen pregnancy, an old womb with new life.


On the heart of God, in the pen of the prophets, then in a manger in Bethlehem.

Credibility in the obscurity, because of prophecy.

Luke 1.

To read Luke 2 without Luke 1 is building a house on the sand, and we know how that goes.

This year. Christmas 2023… I’m pitching a tent in Luke 1. 80 verses waiting to be explored. 80 verses inviting inspection. 80 verses that build the muscle tone for the intense exercise that follows.

Indeed, “My soul magnifies the Lord…”

Before Luke 2… a cosmic explosion called Luke 1.

Unpack your tent with me. Luke 1 awaits.  

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