A Persistent Call - Reflections 10-12-16

 Texts for Sunday, October 16, 2016

 Genesis 32:22-31
 Psalm 121
 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
 Luke 18:1-8

I love to sleep in on Saturday mornings. I have a little cat who sits outside my bedroom door on Saturday mornings and meows….and meows… and meows. I hear her, but I turn over and go back to sleep. Then I hear her, but I turn over again and go back to sleep. I really don’t care that she wants me to come out to feed her, or hold her, or let her outside; I’m determined to sleep. She doesn’t care that I want to sleep; she going to meow until I move. Meow; ignore.

When I read the Gospel text for this week, I was thinking that the little cat probably sees me as a person who neither fears God nor respects cats. But that does not stop her. She brings her cause to the door every single Saturday. 
Every. Single. Saturday.

The widow is like my cat. She persisted in her demand that the judge pay attention to her cry for justice. She stood her ground no matter what the response was at the moment. She returned again and again and again.

And, - this may be a stretch - God is like the widow. Through the law and the prophets, and through Jesus, and then the church, God has persistently called God’s people to pursue justice: to do justice, love kindness; to seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow; to let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream; to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’

God’s people (including us) do need to be pestered to do justice. As people who live a pretty good life – privileged? – it is easy to forget all the injustice that surrounds us in our community and around the world. God keeps prodding us, keeps saying “Grant me justice”. 

And, praying and not losing heart might mean that working for God’s justice, attending to the command to love one’s neighbor, takes determination. We need to keep at it. By praying for justice we commit ourselves to long process of bringing God’s vision to life. From commentator Sharron R. Blezard: we are not to lose heart but rather keep on praying, pestering, and persevering. 

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.                   Martin Luther King Jr., paraphrasing Theodore Parker 

Thoughts? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.

For more ways to reflect on these texts see the G.I.F.T. post for 10-16-16.

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245