Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 18:1

Then Jesus told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. 'There was a judge in a certain town,' he said, 'who had neither fear of God nor respect for anyone. In the same town there was also a Widow who kept on coming to him and saying, "I want justice from you against my enemy!" For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, "Even though I have neither fear of God nor respect for any human person, I must give this widow her just rights since she keeps pestering me, or she will come and slap me in the face." ' And the Lord said, 'You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he still delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?'


A comic appeared in last Sunday’s paper, a single frame. A thick, muscled arm descends from a cloud, setting an enormous elbow on the ground. A huge hand extends to a stump where a small person grasps that hand and says, “On the count of three.”

There was nothing funny about the cartoon. I suppose the artist sought to comment on the lunacy of arm wrestling with God, “on the count of three” or any other count.

But such contests are not quickly over and done as the drawing suggests. They go on … and should.

Oh, we lose every skirmish. We are not going to wrestle God to the ground and demand whatever it is that we want.

But in the struggle with God we might find ourselves in the presence of a Mystery worthy of our worship, a mystery who in the end is Love, even when our heart’s desire doesn’t happen, even when what we fear becomes the bitter crust of our reality.

It is not uncommon for me to sit with souls who rail again heaven for the injustice and pain in their lives. Often as not, heaven has nothing to do with their pain, which has obvious causes closer to home.

Even then, we want what we want, an end to pain, relief from threats to those we love and healing from whatever illness, misfortune or just plain bad luck that makes life hard.

“Step in God. I demand that you do something about this. I’m talking to you God.”

For the strong ones, the blessed ones, the fight against heaven doesn’t soon end. They persevere. They press on, pressing home the justice of their cause, their honest need for blessing and relief from their unending run of miserable luck.

Blessed are they, for you, my most holy Lord, are real to them, even when your silence brings them pain.

Blessed are they, for they will wrestle with you (losing every skirmish) until the mystery of your love breaks their heart, and they stand, like Job, before the inscrutable chances of life, blessing you for being a God who refuses to be reduced to our size.

Pr. David L. Miller

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