COCU61C.20October2019

Readings:
Jeremiah 31:27-34
A prophecy of restoration, of an end to generational curses, and of God’s new covenant with God’s people – written on hearts, not stone.
Psalm 119:97-104
A song of rejoicing in God’s laws and instructions and the way they guide and lead to life.
2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5
Paul encourages Timothy, in the name of the coming Christ, to remain faithful to the Scriptures and to teach God’s message faithfully at all times.
Luke 18:1-8
Jesus tells a parable of a poor widow who persistently asks a judge for justice, and he finally relents because of her persistence. Then he muses about whether, when he returns, he will find people of faith on earth.

Gospel Feelings resources here.
Sermon: Excellent reflection by Debie Thomas on the Gospel reading here

Patient God (based on Gospel reading)
Patient God,
you persevere in your care for us,
in spite of our lack of persistence,
lack of praying at all times.
Merge our inner spirits
with your will.
Teach us again and again
to pray always
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen
(Source:Bob Eldan)
God is not the judge, but the widow.
Jesus says, “Do not judge,” but still we judge.
We fail to fear God and respect other people.

God comes to us among the powerless,
the orphan, the widow, the Crucified One,
pleading for justice.

So busy with what we want,
we don’t hear what God wants.
But God keeps coming, keeps pleading for justice.
She does not shout, does not lift up her voice,
but calmly, confidently, again and again she comes.
She will wear us out with her continual coming,
until we do justice.

Persistent God,
help us listen to your cries in the poor,
to your whisperings in our hearts,
to the light in your silence.

We still our minds, cease our judging, and listen.
In our hearts, a river flowing, we listen.
In the unsaid billion prayers, we listen.

We keep praying and do not lose heart.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

A meditation on Psalm 119
When I look at the clouds,
the fluffy, thick, bright white
clouds, I imagine falling backwards
into that cotton wool castle
in the sky and knowing safety
never known before. Those clouds
to me appear to be the arms
of our Creator, Parent, Maker,
gentle mystery that is, Sacred Love.

Falling thus back in trust, into
faith, into grace, is some splendid
surrender to the paradox of Wisdom,
to giving in order to receive; to letting
go in order to retain; to living
when persecutors, tempters, oppressors
would take my life away.

Mocked though I may be by those
without understanding, I will fall,
I will seem the fool in dreaming
of a castle in the clouds that catches
me in my meditation, holds me
in my resignation, emboldens
me to love, though the certainties
of fear may try to shake me.

(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

MUSIC

God, You Hear Our Weary Praying
BEACH SPRING 8.7.8.7 D (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
God, you hear our weary praying, and you know that we lose heart.
All around we see the suffering of a world that’s torn apart.
We see leaders of the nations filled with arrogance and greed.
We see friends and family hurting, facing overwhelming need.

God, we cannot help but wonder: Do our prayers do any good?
Do they change the nations’ leaders? Do they change our neighborhood?
Why do loved ones keep on suffering when they’re in our constant prayer?
Do you hear the cries we’re offering? Are you listening? Are you there?

Then you teach us of this woman: She was widowed; she was poor.
“Grant me justice!” she kept calling at an unjust judge’s door.
Though that judge respected no one, he was no match for her cries.
He responded to her pleading, granting justice, changing lives.

How much more is your compassion! God, you’re just and good and fair.
May we lift to you our sorrows and the burdens that we bear.
May we pray, for you reign o’er us! May we ask — for you are kind!
May we trust that you will help us in your goodness, in your time.

(Text: Copyright © 2019 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, CarolynsHymns
Email: carolynshymns@gmail.com)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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