The Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist
Today the church remembers and celebrates as a Feast Day St. Luke the Evangelist, physician, and traveling companion of the Apostle Paul. Saint Luke, a companion and fellow-worker of Paul, was a Gentile by birth and a physician by vocation (see Col. 4:14). We first meet St. Luke during St. Paul’s second missionary journey. His witness to our Lord Jesus Christ is found in his two books, the Acts of the Apostles and the Third Gospel.
One commentator writes: “In St. Luke’s Gospel our Savior is pictured as the merciful Physician of bodily and spiritual ills. It has, therefore, been called ‘the Gospel of mercy and love.’
The beautiful passages of God’s loving-kindness touch us deeply, for example the parables of the prodigal son and the Good Samaritan, the account of the penitent woman, and the good thief on the cross. Of inestimable value are the first two chapters on the incarnation and childhood of Jesus. Here Luke preserved for us the three precious canticles…the Benedictus, the Magnificant, and the Nunc Dimittis” (Pius Parsch, The Church’s Year of Grace, Vol. 5, Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1958, p. 295).
It is no wonder that of the many possible ways to celebrate the life and work of St. Luke the Evangelist, to the glory of God and for the welfare of His people, many congregations use this day to focus on the love and the healing power of Christ.
Some congregations have used this opportunity to identify health care personnel in their midst–dentists, nutritionists, nurses, counselors, physical therapists, doctors, and the like–and arranged a special dedication of them to the task of healing in the name of the Christ who healed and heals even today. Others have used this as an opportunity to explore more fully the healing miracles of Jesus and their applications today. Some pastors, utilizing Bible classes and their sermon on this day, have helped their members understand that the redemption of Christ frees us from bondage to sin, death, Satan, and sickness. Christ’s redemption is wholistic in nature and total in effect.
Among the many possible ways to celebrate the life and work of St. Luke the Evangelist, to the glory of God and for the welfare of His people, we praise God for the physician St. Luke who witnesses to the salvation of the Christ, “A light to reveal Your way to the Gentiles, and bring glory to Your people Israel” (Luke 2:32).
For that beloved physician
All praise, whose Gospel shows
The healer of the nations,
The One who shares our woes.
Your wine and oil, O Savior,
Upon our spirits pour,
And with true balm of Gilead
Anoint us evermore.
Horatio Bolton Nelson, 1823-1913
Lutheran Worship 194:19
Information taken from the LCMS website:
Posted on October 18, 2010, in Commemoration of Saints and Church Figures, The Church Year and tagged Acts of the Apostles, Christ, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, Luke the Evangelist, Nunc Dimittis. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.