Jeremiah 31:27-34. Where do you see God making good on the promise of a renewed, intimate relationship with you? With the Church? With the world?
Psalm 119:97-104. How are you patterning your life around God’s way of love?
2 Timothy 3:10-4:5. How has the good news of the Resurrection been passed on to you? How are you passing it on to others?
Luke 18:1-14. Every Sunday, we pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done.”What does it look like to persevere in praying for this in ways that are specific to your community?
Rev. Tania writes,
This is a week to challenge one of our most basic Christian practices – prayer. But it is also a week to bring together two important things that prayer does for us – writing God’s law on our hearts, and opening us to the coming of God into our lives and our world.
The potential for this mix of ideas is tremendous, and the possibilities it offers, not just for preaching, but for real, transforming encounter with God, are many. Those of us who seek to work for justice in our world cannot ignore the place and power of prayer that changes our hearts and leads us into true encounter with God.
There are two related themes running through the readings this week. The first is that of God’s word written on the heart (Jeremiah), offering guidance and life (Psalm 119), as the basis for teaching and the Christ-following life (2 Timothy), and expressed in the parables of Jesus. The second is that of God’s coming to God’s people – as the coming judge (2 Timothy), as the God who comes to bring justice to God’s people in Jesus’ parable, and as the Christ who will return in Jesus’ musings at the end of the Luke passage.
Of course, the idea of prayer is also found in many of these passages as well – and is, perhaps, what brings the other two themes together. On the one hand we long for God and seek God’s presence, God’s justice and God’s protection. On the other hand, God longs to come to us, offering us guidance and life through God’s word, God’s law, written on our hearts. In prayer we express our longing, and we open ourselves to God’s presence and purpose. As we pray, God’s word is truly written on our hearts, and the God of justice breaks into our human experience with justice, life and divine principles for full and meaningful living. The power of this theme of prayer as the meeting place for God and people is that it is not just the pray-er that is changed by the encounter, but the world in which the pray-er then lives and acts out the prayer each day.
As you worship this week, may your prayer be heartfelt, and may it overflow into every action, thought, word and interaction in your life.
Blessings as we seek to know Christ and make Him known!