Storyteller as curator: St Luke the song catcher

While We're Paused...

St Luke’s two-volume history — which we know as Luke-Acts — has a grand scope. It runs from Jerusalem out to small-town Galilee, then back to Jerusalem, then from Jerusalem to all Rome’s empire, and ends in the great capital city of the empire itself. By structuring his grand narrative thus, Luke creates a brilliant apologetic concerning the kingdom of God — established through Jesus, in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel, for glory of his people Israel and for a light to lighten the Gentiles.

For a story of global ends and high apologetic ambitions, Luke’s gospel has quite provincial, and some might say unpromising, beginnings: an old priest with a barren post-menopausal wife, a virgin in a blink-and-you-miss-it town.  Mary visits Elizabeth in a town in the “hill country of Judah,” a town so small that it has no name.  Luke doesn’t scoff at these beginnings.  On the…

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