Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sermon today

Today/s gospel was a parable from Luke I always found annoying.

Jesus is telling his disciples they should always pray and tells a parable about a judge who cares not for God or human beings who is confronted by a widow who calls for justice over and again. And the judge gives the woman what justice she needs just because she keeps coming back and he doesn't want to deal with her.

For me, that's a terrible image for God who gives his people what they want when they pray.

God doesn't always give us what we want--his will, not ours--but God, I think, doesn't live by the Gallup poll. Being persistent in prayer doesn't mean we'll have the answer we want. That, in fact, is a terrible analogy for prayer. Prayer for me is simply 'listening' to God, not making demands on God.

But there was also the lesson about Jacob, after he'd robbed his brother, Esau, of his inheritance, fleeing with his wives and servants and cattle and wrestling with God on the banks of the river.

Now that's something I can lean into and understand--wrestling with God.

Seems to me my whole life has been engaging God in a wrestling match, trying to do what I want and finally not being able to overpower God.

What Jacob gets is a new name--"Israel"--and a limp from his displaced hip.

Not a bad deal when struggling with God--a new name and a limp.

That, it seems to me, is well worth the struggle.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.