Weekly Uplift-“Patience”

 

 
In the midst of a pandemic in which people continue to get sick and pass on, economic downturn, peaceful protests for justice, we might feel a need to scream, “Will the world please stop!!! I need patience, please! NOW!!”

In the many pastoral conversations over the years, patience is an oft requested spiritual gift. We get overburdened. We want things to change. We need something quickly. We desire someone to do something soon. And, we get upset when these things don’t happen on our timetable. And, so, we say, we want patience.

There is a story in the Bible about patience that I will discuss on Sunday—from Luke 18:1-8. It is a fascinating story that seems to be about how a person’s impatience sways a judge to have justice done for her. Because of her pestering, the judge gives justice. This story could be a parable about or a commentary on the crowds that are seeking justice for people of color lately. The impatient woman who makes efforts in petitioning the judge in the story is rewarded. Jesus then uses the story to encourage us to be persistent in prayer, as the woman is persistent for justice.

There is another way to view this story, however. In the practice of the rabbis who encourage use of one’s imagination to receive what Scripture might be telling us in fresh ways, we might imagine the judge to be us. A judge who “neither feared God nor had respect for people” (Luke 18:2). In this telling, God is the impatient one—seeking justice from us.

Will we give this justice? In our families? In our communities? In our state? In our nation? To people of color? To people who have been wronged? We will be part of solutions that help? Or, will our own issues with race stand in the way of justice?

And, perhaps, that’s where patience comes in. God is ultimately patient with us. Waiting. Guiding. Offering signs. Working with people here and there to do the right thing. Letting us work it out.

So, how can we count on God’s patience with us to help us with our own patience in what we need to do to be faithful Christ-followers?

And, how can we be inspired by God’s impatience with how things need to change to empower our own actions to help others?

These are 2 key questions for this moment in our lives.

How will you and I answer them?

Peace,

Pastor Doug

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