St Luke's Anglican Church in Enmore a lively, inclusive welcoming liturgical community

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St Luke’s Enmore Patron­al Fest­iv­al 2004

a ser­mon by The Right Revd Robert For­syth, Bish­op of South Sydney

St Luke, a Saints Day?

There are two ways that being a Chris­ti­an invari­ably involves you with oth­er people. Not just me and God in our own little world.

First way is that when you come to Christ you get al the oth­er Chris­ti­ans thrown in. God build­ing a people a com­munity not indi­vidu­als on own path. We belong togeth­er with all who are in Christ. The One Holy Cath­ol­ic and Apostol­ic Church.

Second way is that even to come to Christ though oth­er people.

Quote from Leslie New­bi­gin mis­sion­ary in India

[God’s pur­pose for the world] neces­sar­ily requires that men’s sal­va­tion should be not by an unme­di­ated act of God dir­ec­ted to each indi­vidu­al human soul in isol­a­tion, but by the oper­a­tion of a love that works through the plane of human his­tory, medi­ated by the con­cern of man for man into a vis­ible com­munity.

  • What say­ing. Not each indi­vidu­ally dis­cov­er but learn from oth­ers, passed down.
  • The Chris­ti­an faith is not a uni­ver­sal truth avail­able to all (philo­sophy of life) but an announce­ment of some­thing happened and will hap­pen. Gos­pel= news flash.

Jesus Christ raised from the dead. God acted in Jesus. Will act to restore his world

  • This won­der­ful truth must be wit­nessed and then passed down by oth­ers.

This is the church St Luke’s Enmore.

Christ­ch­urch Enmore 1880.
Became St Luke in 1963. (amal­gam­ated St Augustine’s Stan­more 1963)

Why Luke? Every year St Luke’s Day a spe­cial cel­eb­ra­tion.

What is this Saint Luke?

  • “Saint” means “holy one”

Import­ant sense all those in Christ are holy. Ded­ic­ated to him set apart for him. The main thing. Not because every Chris­ti­an is “holy” in the sense of vir­tue but because of shar­ing in Christ.

  • But “saint” also used to pick about par­tic­u­lar Chris­ti­an Great Ones of out­stand­ing faith and char­ac­ter. Mod­els to us. Inspir­a­tion. Remind­er that we share with such. Cus­tom of nam­ing churches after Chris­ti­an great ones.
    Examples and inspir­a­tions of hero­ic faith and action.
  • Luke two­fold value to us. (1) Belong to Christ you belong to the wider com­munity. (2) We come to Christ though oth­ers, in this Luke a cru­cial.

Who is this Luke?

My grand­son thought a while when I told him I was talk­ing about Luke. “Ah he said, Star­wars!”
How­ever I have in mind a fig­ure of the New Test­a­ment time. In the New Test­a­ment.

But in peri­pher­al vis­ion just on the edge, often out of the cam­era, in fact often hold­ing the cam­era.

Two places he catch a glimpse of him. Let­ters of Paul. Luke’s own work

  • First is the let­ters of Paul 3 ref­er­ences
  1. Paul in a time of loneli­ness and threat Paul writes to his friend Timothy 2 Tim 4:

Do your best to come to me soon, 10 for Demas, in love with this present world, has deser­ted me and gone to Thes­salon­ica; Cres­cens has gone to Gala­tia, Tit­us to Dal­ma­tia. 11 Only Luke is with me.

Here is the fig­ure Luke import­ant but in the back­ground.

One of the three brief ref­er­ences to one “Luke” in NT The oth­er two briefer

  1. There are the greet­ings to church at Colos­si­ans a list of names then, 4:14

Luke, the beloved phys­i­cian, and Demas greet you.

Phys­i­cian = doc­tor

Beloved = some­thing spe­cial about him

And as earli­er in the greet­ings Aristarchus, Mark the cous­in of Barn­a­bas, Jesus who is called Jus­tus “these are the only ones of the cir­cum­cision (Jews) among my co-work­ers for the king­dom of God” Then moves on to oth­ers and Luke, this sug­gests Luke is not a Jew but Greek. Pos­sibly a god fear­er.

  1. And finally at the end Philem­on

23 Epa­phras, my fel­low pris­on­er in Christ Jesus, sends greet­ings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fel­low work­ers.

Fel­low work­er =shared with the apostle in his great mis­sion.

Who was he? prob­ably Greek. Believ­er.

Later authors sug­gest he was from Syr­i­an Anti­och (One of the largest cit­ies in the ancient wield, where fol­low­ers of Jesus first called Chris­ti­ans”)

This Luke fel­low. Co-work­er, beloved stal­wart. The last one to hang in there.

An example

  • Luke’s own work

But a more sig­ni­fic­ant role. Than that.

Although not name him­self very good evid­ence from oth­ers writ­ing just after the NT that this Luke the author of two sig­ni­fic­ant NT books.

The Gos­pel accord­ing to Luke: Jesus life

(and Vol 2) the Acts of the Apostles:
key events and people in the next after Jesus Resur­rec­tion

Luke’s gos­pel a care­ful report­er and sifter

1 Since many have under­taken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been ful­filled among us, 2 just as they were handed on to us by those who from the begin­ning were eye­wit­nesses and ser­vants of the word, 3 I too decided, after invest­ig­at­ing everything care­fully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excel­lent Theo­philus, 4 so that you may know the truth con­cern­ing the things about which you have been instruc­ted.

He is not the first gen­er­a­tion but a second writ­ing for his con­tem­por­ar­ies

  1. Jesus Christ “the events that have been ful­filled among us”
  2. those who from the begin­ning were eye­wit­nesses and ser­vants of the word,
  3. I too decided, after invest­ig­at­ing everything care­fully from the very first, to write an orderly account
  4. for you for you, most excel­lent Theo­philus, 4 so that you may know the truth con­cern­ing the things about which you have been instruc­ted.

Begins with the announce­ment of Jesus con­cep­tion to his raised from the dead to his teach­ing from the Scrip­tures that the Mes­si­ah is to suf­fer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repent­ance and for­give­ness of sins is to be pro­claimed in his name to all nations, begin­ning from Jer­u­s­alem.

Second volume The Acts of the Apostles begins

  • In the first book, Theo­philus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the begin­ning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heav­en, after giv­ing instruc­tions through the Holy Spir­it to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suf­fer­ing he presen­ted him­self alive to them by many con­vin­cing proofs, appear­ing to them dur­ing forty days and speak­ing about the king­dom of God.

Tells the story of the spread of the word of God

Ends Rome

30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preach­ing the king­dom of God, and teach­ing those things which con­cern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all con­fid­ence, no man for­bid­ding him.

Though really “the Acts” is about the story that con­tin­ues and includes us here this morn­ing!

In the Acts unusu­al

He trans­par­ent.

Most inter­est­ing the “we” pas­sages in acts. Three times.

First Paul in Mod­ern Tur­key Troas near Dard­anelles

16.9 Dur­ing the night Paul had a vis­ion: there stood a man of Mace­do­nia plead­ing with him and say­ing, “Come over to Mace­do­nia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vis­ion, we imme­di­ately tried to cross over to Mace­do­nia, being con­vinced that God had called us to pro­claim the good news to them. 11 We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Sam­o­thrace, the fol­low­ing day to Neapol­is, 12 and from there to Phil­ippi, which is a lead­ing city of the dis­trict of Mace­do­nia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days…

Luke joined Paul’s com­pany at Alex­an­der Troas at in the year 51 and accom­pan­ied him into Mace­do­nia. Acts then switches back to the third per­son which seems to indic­ate Luke was not thrown into pris­on with Paul and that when Paul left Phil­ippi Luke stayed behind to encour­age the Church there. Sev­en years passed before Paul returned to the area on his third mis­sion­ary jour­ney.

In Acts 20:5, the switch to “we” tells us that Luke has left Phil­ippi to rejoin Paul in Troas in 58 where they first met up. They trav­elled togeth­er through Mile­tus, Tyre, Caesarea, to Jer­u­s­alem. There Paul found trouble an arrest.

Third time Paul a pris­on­er on way to Rome to appeal to the Emper­or. Acts 27

1 When it was decided that we were to sail for Italy, they trans­ferred Paul and some oth­er pris­on­ers to a cen­tur­i­on of the Augus­t­an Cohort, named Juli­us. Embark­ing on a ship of Adra­myt­ti­um that was about to set sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accom­pan­ied by Aristarchus, a Mace­do­ni­an from Thes­salon­ica.

If you want to read the most vivid account of a ship­wreck in the ancient world then go to Acts 27. (Theo­lo­gians often worry about what deep theo­lo­gic­al reas­on Luke had for includ­ing what he wrote in Acts. But I think that Luke included the ship­wreck because he had been there. He was writ­ing more like a Daily Tele­graph report­er at that point in my view!)

Vivid story of ship­wreck off Malta finally

28.14 And so we came to Rome.

So we see Luke as One who stands in the shad­ows.
Though whom “the truth con­cern­ing Jesus Christ” spelt out.

 

Con­clu­sions

  1. Thank God for Luke and all we share with in Christ. In his case not just for his example but also his bring so much of Christ to us in his writ­ings.
  2. Fol­low Luke’s example of humble ser­vice. Luke like all the Saints does not want to get in the way of Christ but through his life and work points us to Christ.
  3. There­fore with and through Luke come to and live for the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

ALMIGHTY God, who called Luke the phys­i­cian to an evan­gel­ist, and phys­i­cian of the soul: Grant that through his teach­ing we may know the cer­tainty of things that belong to your king­dom and that all the dis­eases of our souls be healed; through the mer­its of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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