An Orderly Account

Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist

By Michael Smith

A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 1:1-4

1 Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.


Today is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist. He starts off his first volume stating his purpose for writing the Gospel that bears his name: to provide an “orderly account” of the things shared by eyewitnesses of the acts, teachings, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, to a man named Theophilus. Luke writes to Theophilus again in his second volume of the Acts of the Apostles to record the story of the early Church, much of which he witnessed firsthand as a missionary companion to Paul.

Since many of the eyewitnesses of Jesus began to die before the promised return of Christ, it became necessary to record the stories and remembrances of disciples so the accounts could continue after their passing. There obviously were more versions than those preserved in the four canonical gospels, as Luke refers to them as “many.”

Have you ever written a “spiritual autobiography”? It is a record of your personal journey with Christ. Templates for such can be found through diocesan offices or online. In addition to being a helpful spiritual practice, there may be a “Theophilus” somewhere who would benefit from your “orderly account.”

Michael G. Smith served as bishop of North Dakota for fifteen years and is currently the Assistant Bishop of Dallas. He works with the Navajoland Iona Collaborative and is a Benedictine Oblate and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

Diocese of Goma (Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo)
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Irving, Texas


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