The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 18:1-8
18 mins 4 secs
Views: 46
This week’s Gospel is the parable of the persistent widow who receives justice from an unjust judge and our Old Testament reading is the story of Jacob wrestling with God all night and receiving an out of joint hip, a blessing and a new identity. Our epistle is Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and firmly believed.” It is a powerful dose of the value of persistence, but what do unjust judges, wrestling blessings from God and working quickly before it is too late have to do with our relationship with a holy, loving and generous God
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 18:9-14
14 mins 30 secs
Views: 69
In our readings for this week, our psalm reminds us of the joy and blessedness we have because of our freedom in Christ. Psalm 84 is a prayer of longing for the house of the Lord. It is the cry of the heart of the Levite who presumably wrote this during a period when temple worship was prohibited. Not only was worship banned, but also any access to God's house was forbidden. The author gives voice to his longing for the sweet nearness to God in his temple that he had known in the past. "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." Have we ever felt this way? It seems so poignant that here is a priest who has no place to worship. Imagine if this should happen to us. How would we react? Well the good news is that our bodies are the Lord's temple, so we really don't need a temple or church to worship God or to come into His presence. Denying us access to the church and corporate worship will not bar God's presence from our lives because, Jesus makes His home in our hearts when we ask Him in. Also, we have the Holy Spirit who teaches us and instructs us in the way that we should go. So, while we would probably miss our place of worship and the fellowship, we would not be without access to God. In Paul's letter to Timothy, we have a wonderful example of a life lived in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Written while Paul is imprisoned in Rome, we can see from what he writes, that he has complete access to God. Clearly, Paul is someone who is not only in tune with the Holy Spirit; he also does nothing without the Holy Spirit's guidance. Can we say the same thing? Things to ponder