The Pesky Widow and the Unjust Judge                  

Text: Luke 18:1-8. Read it here.

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, teaching and healing as he goes. He tells his followers this parable about being persistent in prayer. Pastor Bill Wong preaches.

In Jesus’ time, a widow was an especially vulnerable person. She normally would have few resources to prosecute a legal case. In today’s story, this widow doesn’t even have a lawyer to help her out. Worse, the judge in her case is corrupt; Jesus tells us this judge doesn’t care about God or people, let alone this vulnerable widow. But what the widow has on her side is determination. She’s pesky! She hounds the corrupt judge until he finally decided to give her what she asks.

Jesus lifts up this widow as an example of how to deal with a difficult or challenging situation. I remember a difficult time when I accepted a call to go to Chicago and work for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s national office. My job was to set up an Asian-American ministry program. God had called me to to help the ELCA build a multi-cultural ministry. God called me to help create a church that welcomes all people. I encountered many challenges and difficulties there, and so did my family. But we persisted, confident in God’s call.

Peace Lutheran Church today encounters challenges and difficulties. We Christians face many difficulties. But calls us to hang in there and be persistent in our prayer and in our faith, like that pesky widow. Look around us — where is God calling us to be in mission here in Grass Valley? Whatever you sense God has in mind for you, be persistent. There’s no such thing as a short-term commitment with God.

Jesus is persistent in bringing people together. He is even willing to die to unite us. So let us be a sign to others of unity in God. Be persistent in your efforts for peace,e justice and reconciliation. God’s commitment to us deserves no less.

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