Christmas and the cross

Luke 2:22-40

Luke 1 and 2 are often described as “the Lukan infancy and childhood narratives”—the stories of Jesus’ birth and early childhood. That description is fine, but as Eugene Peterson has suggested, there is another way of framing the opening of Luke: these two chapters are a primer in prayer. Prayers saturate the first two chapters of Luke. Practically the entire story of Jesus’ birth is told in prayers—in the Fiat mihi (“Let it be to me according to your will”), Mary announces her acceptance of God’s will; in the Magnificat (“My soul glorifies the Lord”), she praises God for turning things upside down and inside out.


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