The sermon will be a post on our Facebook page. Please click on link to view sermon.
Kyrie eleison: Persistence in Prayer
Two characters step out of scripture today to teach us about persistence in prayer. One is named. Jacob is the devious brother who tricked his twin, Esau, out of his birthright and their father’s blessing, and Jacob was himself duped on his wedding night by his father-in-law, Laban. The other character, unnamed, is a widow acquainted with grief, one among many marginalized and vulnerable people, but a woman who dares to stand her ground in her quest for justice. On the banks of the river Jabbok, Jacob wrestles with the angel and limps away with a blessing and a new identity. The unnamed widow repeatedly appeals for justice and finally is vindicated. Many have known persistent prayer as a kind of wrestling with God. Many have pleaded with God for justice and mercy. Today God’s grace and mercy is known in the blessing of baptismal remembrance and our identity as beloved children of God.
Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus tells a parable of an unjust judge who is worn down by a widow’s pleas. Jesus is calling God’s people to cry out for justice and deliverance. For if an unethical judge will ultimately grant the plea of a persistent widow, how much more will God respond to those who call.
1Then 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?”