I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: Luke 18:1-7
Jesus liked to surprise his hearers.
This little parable of Jesus is no exception. He used a widow — the poorest of the poor and the least powerful of the powerless — and an unjust judge “who neither feared God nor had respect for people” to make a point about prayer and to encourage people as they dealt with being treated unjustly.
The point of a parable usually isn’t stated, but the first verse states the point of this one: “Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.”
This isn’t the only teaching about persistence in prayer. In the eleventh chapter of Luke, right after Jesus gives his disciples the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern of prayer, Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. So, I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:5-13)
Note the promise in this passage: Just as parents know how to give good things to their children— and their presence most of all — so God gives the Holy Spirit — God’s own presence — to those who ask.
How about you? Are you persistent in praying for justice and for the presence of God?
Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these words of scripture and reflection.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster