his year has been nothing but full of hardships. Looking back earlier this year, who could have imagined that we would reach the Advent season being physically-distant from our friends and loved ones, not to mention the many difficulties we have faced and continue to face up to this day due to quarantine and isolation. 2020, for a lot of people, is a year of uncertainties. However, for us as Christians, one thing remains certain and we can be confident of: that God’s Love for us is for sure.
Luke, in his letter to Theophilus, tells us that we can have certainty concerning the things we have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4). But how exactly can we be confident and certain of God’s Love for us?
Knowing that our faith is essential
In verses 5 to 24 of Luke chapter 1, we see Zechariah’s story of how he doubted Gabriel’s message about him and his wife’s ability to conceive. The narrative can tell us of the two tendencies we may have concerning our faith: One is our casual disregard for the evidential basis of the Christian message. The second is basing our convictions solely on evidence and logic.
The first tendency we may have is leaning on our convictions in inherited tradition or personal experience. Zechariah’s story warns us that this is wrong because without faith being founded on evidence and truth, we will be easily swayed by the enemy.
The second tendency is when we base our convictions solely on logic. We must remember that our logic can sometimes be relative to what we choose to see or not see. When we doubt the Word of God because we lack the evidence, we’re probably wrong. If we believe the Gospel because we think we have sufficient evidence, we’re probably wrong as well. This tells us that our intelligence, no matter how broad and deep it may be, cannot save us.
When we have faith, then logic and evidence can move us from being puzzled to being absolutely certain. Our faith is essential, and it is a gift of God.
Listening to what Luke is telling us (through Theophilus)
In verse 3, Luke tells Theophilus that he wrote an orderly account for him. Luke was accurate in his narrative, and that he assures the integrity of his accounts. In essence, Luke is gifting Theophilus this knowledge (Luke & Acts) to bolster his confidence in God in the midst of other voices and skeptics. An awesome realization to this is that God, through Luke, has given us the same gifts.
Luke wrote to affirm that our faith is not just a new belief system. His letters offer us the evidence-based knowledge that God’s promises to Israel are being fulfilled —that the Messiah will come. His accounts aim to strengthen our confidence in the Love of God by sharing with us that God sent His Son to our world to die for our sins. The death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus not only gave the Israelites Hope, but it was given to us, too.
The message from Luke’s letters not only brings us the truth and certainty that we, as human beings, always long for. It also brings us the Good News of salvation. Amidst all that’s happening in the world today, we can be sure that God truly loves us because He sent Jesus to seek and to save that which was lost. So this Advent season, let’s continue to be confident in our faith and reach to all those we love and bring them the Good News, too.