Monday, November 22, 2010

Keeping On Keeping On

Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? -- Luke 18: 8

Jesus told a parable about the need to pray and not lose heart. A widow was relentless in pleading before a callous judge. Although he heeded neither God nor people, he gave her what she requested so that he would not have to listen to her pleading any longer.

And the Lord said, "How much more will God grant the petitions of those who pray night and day? Will God delay in helping them?"

And the Lord asks the probing question, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Faith is evident as we pray without ceasing, as we persevere in our ministries, as we give generously. This is the beautiful season of harvest, of generosity. "10-Fold" and "O For a Thousand" and local church stewardship campaigns and thank offerings. As God watches, does God find faith on earth in us?

In Beyond Katrina, Natasha Trethewey offers this meditation, a poem, "Believer."

The house is in need of repair, but is --
for now, she says -- still hers. After the storm,
she laid hands on what she could reclaim:
the iron table and chairs etched with rust,
the dresser laced with mold. Four years gone,
she's still rebuilding the shed out back
and sorting through boxes in the kitchen --
a lifetime of bills and receipts, deeds
and warranties, notices spread on the table,
a barrage of red ink: PAST DUE. Now,
the house is a museum of everything
she can't let go: a pile of photographs --
fused and peeling -- water stains blurring
the handwritten names of people she can't recall;
a drawer crowded with funeral programs
and church fans, rubber bands and paper sleeves
for pennies, nickels, and dimes. What stops me
is the stack of tithing envelopes. Reading my face,
she must know I can't see why -- even now --
she titles, why she keeps giving to the church.
First seek the kingdom of God, she tells me,
and the rest will follow -- says it twice
as if to make a talisman of her words.

With gratitude for your ministry,

--adapted from an e-newsletter by Bishop Ward

God Is Stil lIn Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer
United Methodist Communications

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