Devotion: Monday, October 21, 2019

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Luke 18:1-8.    

And [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


Washington D.C. is a place that can try one’s patience, that’s for sure. I’ve noticed that right about this time of year, about 13 months before the next election, congressmen and congresswomen start to drop hints that this maybe it for them. In fact, by the end of October, several of them will announce that they are hanging it up. If the representative is someone with whom I disagree, I may not be so concerned. On the other hand, if the representative is someone who has been a stalwart proponent for things like religious liberty, life, marriage, and education, I might prayerfully disagree with their decision, even to the point of writing a note encouraging them to “hang in there.” But often even multiple letters like that will fall on deaf ears because those retiring have simply lost their patience. They are ready to “hang it up,” not “hang in there.” They’re tired, worn out, and maybe even overwhelmed by the daily grind of politics.

Why is it that we all get to that “hang it up” point at various times in our lives? And what should we do when we really should “hang in there,” but want to “bug out” instead? Think about the widow in the lesson for today. She was a tiger. She wanted justice against her adversary and, in spite of a lazy, self-centered judge, she pestered him until she received what was right. Right on!

But all too often we do not follow her example. Our challenges overwhelm us. Our brokenness beats us down. We might fight like her for a moment, just to get crushed by another obstacle and then do the universal, human thing and “hang it up.” If that’s you today, I’ve got good news. The lesson is not really about the tenacious widow. It’s not about the uncaring judge. It’s about a loving God, the righteous judge and merciful savior of the world. The point of this lesson is this: if even godless judges can be coerced to grant justice to those who pester them, can you imagine what God, the judge who loves you, wants to do for you? Think about that today and joyfully “pester” God with your prayers. Think about that reality today and lay your petitions out before Him. He is the exact opposite of the judge in the story! How do I know? He’s the one who, out of love, sent His Son Jesus (the teller of this story) to be your Savior, to bring His life and salvation as a gift to you and me. He always “hangs in there” for you and with you. So hang in there with Him and with each other; you’ll be glad you did!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You came to this earth and endured the shame of the cross so that I might have life. With such a “hang in there” Savior as my Savior, give me the courage to hang in there with others as You do for me. AMEN