It will be good to reflect on our weekend away at some point, but first here is the blog I intended to write last week, but didn’t because I couldn’t find the passage of scripture that had inspired it.
On November 8th, the circus (or should that be horror show?) that has been the US elections draws to its climax, and Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump will be named the next US president. One eventuality seems significantly worse than the other, but neither fills me with much hope.
Recently however I reread a parable which I had not previously given much thought to, and it let a glimmer of light in. In Luke 18, Jesus tells the story of the persistent widow, or the story of the unjust judge, depending on which Bible you are reading.
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Justice was still done even though the judge was unjust, and it was done because the widow was persistent. It didn’t matter that the one in authority was faithless and indifferent, because the one who sought righteousness was devoted and unceasing in her petition.
I won’t say it doesn’t matter at all if our rulers are corrupt and hateful, because it is clear that they can do a lot of damage, but it perhaps matters less than we think, for if we are true of heart and faithful of spirit, we can bring about justice in spite of them.
It may feel like this election is a portent of the apocalypse, but we must pray always and not lose heart, because whether things are bad or worse, there is still hope as long as we are as persistent as the widow.