Ukirk Journeying with young adults as we follow Christ
Jesus Clears the Temple

UWorship: Meditations on Luke 

“The theology of Luke is grounded in a Jesus who comes not just to offer compassion to those who are wounded but also to speak to the evil of those who wound.”

(See Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder’s introductory comments to Luke in The Peoples’ Bible, Fortress Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009, p. 1470. Image, "Jesus Clears the Temple, by Eric de Saussure, 1968.)


Thanks to Dan Frayer-Griggs for writing this six-week series on Luke. Dan lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he teaches Theology at Duquesne University and serves as an Elder at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community. He enjoys drinking coffee, playing banjo, and goofing around with his two sons, Jonah and Levi.

Week 6,     Luke 16:1-16, The Shrewd Manager

One reading of this parable may be interpreted as an early endorsement of what we would today call civil disobedience. Read More 

Week 5:    Luke 15:11-32, The Prodigal

Henri Nouwen wrote, The Return of the Prodigal Son, in which he offers his meditations on Rembrandt’s painting by the same title. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the painting/parable. See Rembrandt’s painting here as you follow this week’s meditation here.

Week 4:   Luke 14:25-35, The Cost of Discipleship

Jesus’ words are often challenging, but sometimes they are exceptionally so. Why on earth should we hate our parents, spouses, siblings, or children as Jesus counsels his disciples to do in this passage? Read More

Week 3:    Luke 14:1-14, Humility and Places of Honor

Have you ever felt foolish after presuming you would receive some form of recognition or honor that you felt you deserved while it ended up going to someone else? Read More

Week 2:    Luke 13: 18-21, Mustard Seed
What might it mean to say that the Kingdom of God is dangerous? To whom and why would it be threatening? Read More 

Week 1:    Luke 12:22-34, Consider the Ravens
“Don’t worry,” Jesus tells us. “Don’t worry about your life. Don’t worry about what you will eat or how you will clothe yourself.” It would be easy to trivialize this message, especially for those of us who have never had to worry about where our next meal will come from. Read More


Week 12: Thanksgiving/Christmas Break

Week 11: Luke 8:26-39

I have no point of reference for understanding the horror named “Legion” or the hell they created for the man whose body they inhabited. It is extraordinarily creepy to imagine a herd of demon-possessed pigs hurling themselves into a lake and drowning.  Despite the eeriness, I’m led to wonder . . . Read more

Week 10: Luke 8:16-25, Jesus Calms the Storm

About this point in the semester college students have a unique lens through which to read about the disciples’ anxiety in the face of a storm. Read more. . .

Week 9: Luke 7:36-50, Alabaster and Anointing

I was living away from home, no longer under my parent’s roof, but still aware that I wanted their approval. As a child, I was accustomed to their generous love and as a young adult I hoped very much that my accomplishments would be worthy of their parental pride in me. I was on a good trajectory. Until I wasn’t. And then, abject failure. Read more. . . 

Week 8:  Luke 6:27-42, Love for Enemies

In 2017, it seems harder than ever to love our neighbors, let alone our enemies. It seems to me the whole country is on edge. Hurricanes and flooding, Daca and the Dreamers, Las Vegas and nuclear war, suicide and depression. Virtually everyone I know is in recovery mode, whether from natural or human-made disasters . . . read more

Week 7: Luke 6:1-11, Lord of the Sabbath 

Some of us struggle to see one hour on Sunday as anything special, let alone find ourselves giving God an entire day of the week. But for people who hold fast to the Law of Moses, the Sabbath is a sacred day. God designed Sabbath rules to remind people of their chosen-ness. A special bond is formed between God and the Sabbath-keeping people. So Jesus was well aware that it was a legitimate offense to break the Sabbath rules. . .read more

Week 6:  Luke 5:1-11, Calling of First Disciples 

The big catch of fish and the blessed miracle of not tipping the boat over is really amazing here... but what catches me most off-guard is the last six words, "they left everything and followed him". Luke doesn't say anything else, which implies that the disciples didn't text their parents or guardians (my Mother would kill me), turn in their homework assignments, stop at an ATM, or even do something with all those fish. They just left. . . read more

Week 5:  Luke 4:14-30, Jesus Rejected

The shape of Jesus’ ministry comes into clear focus with his reading from Isaiah 61. Following the reading, Jesus tells the people he’s called to follow in the footsteps of Israel’s prophets, Elijah and Elisha. Commendable, on one level, but here’s the sore spot: Jesus tells them, that like the prophets he’s come to give God’s blessing away to outsiders. . . read more

Week 4:   Luke 4:1-13, Jesus Tempted 

If we too narrowly define “temptation” as the enticement to perverse or unethical behavior, then we set a low bar for the meaning of virtue by simply steering clear of the worst offenses. When we build up our own integrity by comparing ourselves to the people we judge as despicable human beings, then we avoid setting the higher bar that comes through aligning ourselves with Christ. . . read more

Week 3: Luke 21-38, Genealogy of Jesus

The 12-year-old Jesus differentiates himself and his family ties to Mary and Joseph when they come looking for him in the Temple telling them, “I had to be about my Father’s work.” Now, age 30, Jesus comes to John to receive a water baptism and the scene is yet another manifestation of Jesus’ double lineage. . . read more

Week 2:   Luke 2: 41-52, Boy Jesus 

If you’ve ever lost someone in a crowd – especially a young someone – then you will totally relate to the fear that gripped Mary and Joseph when they realized Jesus was missing . . . read more

Week 1:   Luke 1: 36-38, Gabriel and Mary

Christmas in September? It’s perplexing at first. I wonder why the UWorship lectionary for campus ministry starts out the school year with a text typically reserved for December sermons and Christmas pageants. . . read more