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

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, right before an election, congressmen and congresswomen start to drop hints that this may be 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 stalwart 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 multiple letters like that often fall on deaf ears because those retiring have lost their patience and even their will. They’re ready to “hang it up,” not “hang in there.” They’re tired, worn out, and maybe even overwhelmed by the daily grind of politics.

The world is a sinful place and even our best efforts often fail us and others. Faced with the overwhelming reality of our own sin and the depravity that’s all around us, we can feel like we just want to “hang it up” too. What should we do when we know we really should “hang in there,” but just can’t? What if the example of the widow in our reading for today doesn’t motivate us, but exposes us? She was a tiger. She wanted justice against her adversary. In spite of a lazy, self-centered judge, she pestered him until she received what was right. Right on! But what if I’m being overrun by callous people like that judge? What then?

Sadly, we are often the opposite of the woman. When challenges overwhelm us or our own brokenness beats us down, we might fight for a moment. But then we get crushed by another obstacle and do the typical human thing; we “hang it up.” If that’s you today, I’ve got good news. Our reading is not really about the tenacious widow. It’s also not about the lazy judge. It’s about a loving God, the righteous judge and merciful Savior of the world. The point of this lesson is that if an uncaring judge can be coerced to grant justice to those who pester them, then can you imagine what God wants to do for you because he always listens to you and loves you dearly? Think about that today and joyfully “pester” God with your prayers!

God loves you with a present and eternal love. Let that reality strengthen you when your strength is running out. Then boldly lay out your petitions before the righteous Judge of all. 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, by His love and grace, hang in there with each other as well. You’ll be glad you did!

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

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