Monday, October 14, 2019

Looking Ahead to October 20, 2019

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Jeremiah 31:31-34
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-4:5
  • Luke 18:1-8
The Sermon title is Persistent Earworm of Justice

Early Thoughts: Have you ever had an earworm? That bit of music that just will not leave you alone. I remember a Big Bang episode where Sheldon had an earworm and he was convinced it was going to drive him crazy (which admittedly may not be a long trip).

Would you believe there is even something called The Earworm song?

Sometimes I wonder if God is like that. Is God a persistent voice in our ear that will not let us go about our business? Sometimes I wonder if that is what God wants us to be like -- a persistent voice that will not go away until the world is changed.

This week's Gospel talks of a persistent widow who will not leave the judge alone until justice is done. And to be honest the judge does not grant her request because of justice, rather he gives in so she will leave him alone. Sometimes the end does justify the means.

Luke has Jesus telling this story to show that if even unjust judges give in to requests, how much more will God (who is just) respond to requests made in prayer. But when I read this story, which I have read many times before, this week in conjunction with the Jeremiah passage about the new covenant being written on our hearts and 2 Timothy's exhortation to persist in proclaiming the word I saw a different tone.

Maybe the life of faith is about persistently hearing the whispering voice of the One who has a vision of a just world? Maybe the life of faith is about persistently talking to those around us about the truth and justice and love we find made known in Christ?

Most of the time we find an earworm terribly annoying. But it is sticky. Something about that bit of music sticks with us, at least for that hour or day. Shouldn't God's word of love and justice be just as sticky? And when we (as we often do) forget to live out those words shouldn't there be someone reminding us?

I admit, it seems odd to describe the word of God as an earworm. But the God who has written the covenant of love and justice on our hearts, the God who challenges us to be persistent in proclaiming the Kingdom, the God who is always with us is not about to let us off easily. God is whispering in our ears that we would do what is just and right for the rest of the world. Will we listen? (Even if only in the hopes of silencing the whisper for a while)

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