The Birth of Jesus Never Saved Anyone: The Lucan Advent Texts

Marc Kolden

Article Type: Texts in Context

Publication Date: 10/1/1991

Issue: Confirmation (Vol. 11, No 4, Fall, 1991)

For the evangelist Luke, the salvific focus is not only not on Jesus’ birth, but it is not even primarily on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Noticing this early in the year of Luke will help the preacher attend carefully to the texts and their context in preparing to preach. It will also make it clear that the Advent texts are not primarily pointing believers to Christmas (whether past or present) but to the eschatological hope as understood by Luke in light of Christ. The traditional Advent collects retain this emphasis on Christ’s “second coming,” although the domesticated modern versions (in, for example, the Lutheran Book of Worship) may allow themselves to be interpreted as some sort of wish for a sentimental birth of Jesus in our hearts.

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