From the Rector: Four Gospels - One Story

When most people think of the Christmas story, they think of one single narrative that includes everything from the shepherds and angels, the Magi and Bethlehem, King Herod and the Word-Made-Flesh. What most people do not realize is that the four Gospels give very different portrayals of the birth of Christ, not to mention our Lord's entire life. Luke's Gospel is the only gospel to mention the angels and the shepherds, and only Matthew's Gospel mentions the Magi. Mark does not include any of the infant or childhood stories of Jesus, but instead he begins with the adult baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. John does not mention the early birth stories either, choosing to commence with the text "in the beginning was the Word." All four Gospels tell the life of Jesus in a different way, and this is what makes each Gospel special. Conversely, we need all four gospels to truly understand who our Lord actually is.

This coming Sunday we are privileged to have Neil Averitt join us for a forum after high mass at 11:30 am. Neil's work, The Single Gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John Consolidated into a Single Narrative, is a modern attempt of a venerable tradition of presenting the life of Jesus within a single story. Earlier this week Neil dropped off a copy of his book for me to peruse, and upon first glance I found it to be beautifully laid out. Upon closer inspection I have discovered it to be a treasure. The book is wonderful in the way it presents the different pieces of the Gospels as a unified story. Furthermore, the footnotes are full of good information, but also easy to understand, and the entire work has been masterfully divided by the periods of Jesus' life. I look forward to hearing what he has to share this Sunday, and I know that we will certainly enjoy our time together as a parish community.

It is rare that we benefit from having such a scholar in our midst, and the topic is so relevant for this time of the liturgical year when we hear the various versions of the birth of Jesus Christ. Lunch will be served for $10 at 11:30 am, and then shortly thereafter we will begin the forum. We will finish around 12:30 noon. Please join us.

Father Paul Lillie+