Blessed God, hour by hour, you have sustained me through this day. Your love has enabled me to stand strong and live with confidence. As this night settles, may your mercy surround me. May you grant me refreshment of spirit and renewal of mind. I love you and I pray that for all the ways I have failed this day, you will forgive me and grant me the strength to serve you in the best way possible tomorrow. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Daily Archives: January 10, 2021
Psalm 29 (ESV)
Ascribe to the Lord Glory
29 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Luke 18:1-8 (ESV)
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)
What a peculiar way to end this parable! Why did Jesus link his second coming to the story of a persistent widow? Let’s look at a couple of possible answers.
Perhaps this widow represents the Church. While we have been given the Sacraments, the Scriptures, and many other gifts and blessings, we are still waiting for Jesus to return. While we wait, we can feel as if we are “aliens and sojourners,” living apart from our true home (1 Peter 2:11). We can feel quite defenseless against temptation and the lies of the devil and the evils of this world. At times we can feel as desperate for help as this widow, longing for deliverance.
Do you think life will be this way when Jesus comes again? Not at all! He will usher in a perfect world marked by peace and harmony. There will be no more sickness, divorce, poverty, division, war, or death. The wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the goat, and the calf and the lion will all live together peacefully (Isaiah 11:6). When Jesus comes again, life is going to be fantastic, beyond our wildest imagination!
This is where a second possibility comes in: We as a Church must be vigilant until the day when Jesus returns. Like the widow, the challenging circumstances that we live in call for one response: persistence, especially in prayer. We need to pray every day, “Come, Lord Jesus!” And we need to pray continually for our daily bread, for forgiveness, and for strength against temptation.
The application of this parable to our daily lives is much less about Jesus finding faith when he returns and much more about our call to be persistent and hopeful in prayer. May we all pray for an outpouring of grace upon the Church and the world. May we all be vigilant in prayer so that we won’t fall to temptation. May we all keep our hearts aflame for him as we persist in prayer for his return in glory.
Lord, help us to persevere and put our whole hope in you until the day you come again. Amen.