The Gospel reading sets the tone for this week’s theme. There can be no question that the work of faith, of receiving God’s grace, and of following Christ in worship and service, is a lifelong journey of perseverance and faithfulness. And it is because of God’s faithfulness toward us that we can even contemplate this life. But, if we will contemplate it, and if we can commit to the long haul, we will see change happening in us and we will see justice coming a little more to our world.
The call to persistence is clear from Jesus, and it is directly linked with our prayer life – our relationship with God. In a similar way, Hosea’s persistent faithfulness to his unfaithful wife reflects God’s faithfulness to God’s people. The Psalm offers praise and requests in the assurance of God’s faithfulness, and out of a persistent commitment to God’s ways.
Finally, Paul instructs the believers to stay true to the new life that they have received in Christ, and not be drawn away by legalism or by dramatic visions and stories. If we are to follow Christ and make a difference in the world then it will not be quick, dramatic or constantly changing innovations that will help, but rather – to use the name of one of Eugene Peterson’s books – “a long obedience in the same direction.” This does not mean we cannot be creativity or adopt new ideas and strategies, but that we remain faithful and committed to Christ and the Gospel proclamation of God’s reign, working consistently and persistently to fulfill God’s purposes in our world a little more each day.
May God’s faithfulness inspire our commitment and perseverance this week.