Father, I come before you this day with a humble and contrite heart, which you will not despise. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight. Wash me, that I may be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, and renew in me a right spirit. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and give me a willing spirit to sustain me. Amen.
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I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
O God our King, by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ on the first day of the week, you conquered sin, put death to flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all our days by this victory; forgive our sins, banish our fears, make us bold to praise you and to do your will; and steel us to wait for the consummation of your kingdom on the last great Day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Luke was a physician (Col. 4:14) and a travel companion of the apostle Paul. He wrote this Gospel and its sequel, the book of Acts. The earliest possible date of Luke–Acts is immediately after the events that Luke recorded in Acts 28, which would have been c. A.D. 62. Both Luke and Acts are addressed to “Theophilus” (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1), about whom nothing more is known. Luke’s broader audience consisted primarily of Gentile Christians like Theophilus who had already “been taught” (Luke 1:4) about Jesus.
The gospel is for all, Jews and Gentiles alike, since Jesus is the promised one of God as prophesied in the OT and as seen in God’s saving activity in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The Christian traditions Luke’s readers have received are true; by believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, they will receive the promised Holy Spirit whom he gives to all who follow him.
Luke probably had several goals in writing: (1) to assure his readers of the truth of what they had been taught; (2) to help them understand how Israel’s rejection of Jesus and the Gentiles’ entrance into the kingdom of God are part of God’s plan; (3) to clarify that Jesus did not teach that his bodily return would come immediately but that there would be a period between his resurrection and his return; and (4) to emphasize that they need not fear any mere earthly power such as Rome.