(Luke 1:1-4 HCSB) 1 Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. 3 It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.
Approximately 10 years prior to my father’s passing, he started the difficult task of documenting his end-of-life wishes. He updated his will, added his medical treatment desires, finalized his burial arrangements, etc. It was a very intense time, trying to chase down information that would be necessary to make sure everything was accurate. Dad was a planner, and he cared very deeply about DETAILS! There were days I could just look at him and know that the wheels in his head were turning. Eventually, he would say to me, “Son, I’ve been thinking about…”
Dad also believed in writing things down. When he completed this arduous task, he made multiple copies and hid them in various places around the house. In the kitchen cabinets, under the mattresses, in his car, in the garage, the outside shed… any place he could think of where they could be easily accessed by family members. Having these DETAILS made a difficult time much easier for his family to navigate.
Luke began his writing to Theophilus by expressing his desire for him to know the DETAILS of the birth and life of Jesus. He points Theophilus to the many narratives that were written by other eyewitnesses. I love how he calls them, “servants of the word…” The implication is they were very thorough when it came to their responsibility to get the DETAILS right. Even though he acknowledged their contribution, Luke felt the need to add additional DETAILS he considered important. He writes, “It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence…”
Notice his chosen words…
- I carefully investigated…
- Everything from the first…
- Orderly sequence…
Luke felt that this message needed to be accurate in every way; carefully investigated (factual), a complete rendering (everything), and in the proper order (sequence).
As we get older and there is some distance between particular events, the DETAILS can start to get fuzzy. Our minds often remember based on desire rather than DETAIL.
I played basketball at the Bible College I attended. My memories reflect how good I was… fast, tough, sharp shooter, dependable, hustle, etc. But, others probably remember how often I was pushed to the floor and my propensity to get called for “traveling.” (Something we seldom see called in the modern game) Their memories are probably much more accurate than mine! At the very least, it would balance out my version!
Not long ago, I was going through some boxes of memorabilia and came across one of the basketball programs from school. The coach had listed every player, along with their career stats. Points, rebounds, assists, etc., were listed for every individual player. The DETAILS helped me remember that I was a decent player, although certainly not the best player. The DETAILS told a different story than my memory!
Let me encourage you to start a process of documenting DETAILS. Record birthdays, take pictures, file some important documents. Write down your blessings. Send someone an encouraiging card, or letter. Say what needs to be said while there is still time to say it. As life progresses, this information can be very useful when trying to salvage a relationship, maintain a marriage, build the self-esteem of a child, etc.
Luke said, “that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.” Be careful not to hold grudges and focus on the negative things. Remember the good things… forgive… start over… do what is necessary to experience the positive things in life. And when you come to the end of life you will be able to look back and accurately remember the DETAILS of a life well-lived!
PRAYER: Thank you Father for the DETAILS Luke provided concerning the birth of Jesus. Those DETAILS have provided hope to the hopeless, life to the lifeless, and encouragement to the downtrodden. Your name is to be praised! Amen.