Sermon Notes! “The Faith of Persistence” Luke 18:1-8

This Sunday’s scripture story was Jesus telling his disciples the parable of the widow and the unjust judge, in which the widow pesters the judge so much that eventually he finally relents, giving her justice against her opponent. I’ll admit, it’s a little confusing! Is this parable telling us to pester God so much that he gives us what we want?? Or, is there something deeper?

From Sunday’s sermon:

This story is not told as an “insider secret” that Jesus is passing along, saying “Psst, I know how you can get God to do what you want God to do. All you have to do is keep pestering him, and eventually he’ll give in because he won’t want other people to think he’s a bad god.”

Not in the least! God does not get tired of us asking. God already knows what we need; we don’t even have to ask once for God to hear us.

This parable is about the power of prayer – not because God will change, but because we will change.

If we stay connected to God through prayer, if we keep our minds and hearts set on the love of God and love of neighbor, we can trust that God’s justice for the world will come. Not just for one widow. Not just for one church. Not just for one group of people. It will be God’s justice for the world.

Prayer is a necessary element of God’s work in the world. God’s work is done through our hands, feet, and hearts. If we give ourselves completely over to God, letting go of our pride and control, grounding our daily lives in prayer, gratitude, and love of neighbor, as commanded, God’s will WILL be done, on earth as in heaven.

It gives us the ability to let go of our desire for control, for affirmation, for security, for belonging. It gives us the ability to speak out against what is wrong. It gives us the compassion for others that we need in order to love our neighbors, even when we find them difficult to live with. It gives us the resources we need to turn our enemies into partners.

Prayer doesn’t transform or change God. Prayer changes us. Through us, God’s justice will be done, and the Son will find faith on earth. And so let us pray, and not lose heart.

 

~Pastor Katherine