Sunday, 17 October 2010

Persistence pays off


Luke 18 v 1-8  

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

This week's lectionary gospel spoke so closely into the unfolding events this week in the rescue of the Chilean Miners. Those moving scenes of men, trapped underground for 69 days, being brought into the light, freed at last.
Buoyed up by prayers that rippled day and night throughout the world.
It was so moving to see many of them pause to thank the God of freedom and light. And so reassuring to see persistence being honoured.
Miracles indeed.
I'm sure that Jesus told that parable with his tongue firmly in his cheek. The images he provokes of the persistent widow haunting the judge day and night - always there as he goes about his daily business, peering through the windows of his home as he enjoys his evening meal, haunting his dreams as he attempts to escape in sleep. Wearing him out. Until he gives in and grants her petition.
I don't believe we need to wear God down to achieve justice but a little persistence does no harm.
This week we have surely seen persistent prayer answered and it was wonderful to see the goodness of God acknowledged so publicly.
The question is - can we maintain that evidence of faith in adversity?
As we face a changing world, as indifference emerges once more, can we bring faith back into the limelight and maintain belief in a God of freedom and of light?

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