The Collect: “Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”
The Response: Psalm 119:97-104 was led by David Maitland: *(verse 101) “I restrain my feet from every evil way, that I may keep your word.”
The First Lesson was Genesis 32:22-29, read by John Greve. This passage is an account Jacob’s wrestling with God when he was on his way to meet his brother Esau. Jacob’s hip was wrenched but Jacob knew that the man was of God and asked him for a blessing. He was told his name would change to Israel, and Jacob was amazed that he saw the face of God but his life was spared. This was a life changing experience for Jacob.
The Second Lesson was 2 Timothy 3:14---4:5, read by John Greve. Paul continues his instructions to Timothy and his churches. He states that, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” Paul tells them to be patient and persevere.
The Gospel reading was Luke 18:1-8. Jesus continues his teaching before his time is up to be crucified. He tells his disciples to pray constantly and not give up. Jesus used a parable about a judge who did not believe in God, but the judge was being badgered by a woman who was pleading for justice in her case. She would not stay away and the judge became tired of her. He finally granted her justice just to keep her from continually coming. His lesson was that God would also grant justice to those who cry to him day and night because they are faithful and persistent.
Reverend Gooch began, “You can depend on God. Can God depend on you?” Jesus taught them with this parable to emphasize the importance of being faithful and persistent. God is always faithful in his ways, and one needs to learn to be faithful and persistent also in serving him. Always pray and never become discouraged, for he always hears. God will answer prayers with his faithfulness and justice. Sometimes one does a lot of work and teaching but think that no one notices or cares. It is not praise that one should be looking for but the justice and love of God. Just as God used Jacob to accomplish great deeds, He can use you if you have faith in him. Be equipped with God’s faith.
You can depend on God. Can God depend on you?
Next Sunday, Oct. 27, St. Matthew’s will have Reverend Robert Johnston for the 9 a.m. worship service. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, the church will continue Bible study of Revelations led by Reverend Gooch. St. Matthew’s welcome anyone who wants to join.