A Love Better than a Hallmark Card3
…finally [the judge] said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”
One of the tricky things about parables is decoding what the different characters represent. Sometimes there’s a God-figure in the parable, sometimes there’s not. And in every parable, there’s some point where the analogy breaks down.
In this parable, Jesus makes an argument by contrast: the unjust judge is decidedly wicked, yet even he will grant justice to the one who perseveres in asking for it. How much more will a good and loving God grant justice!
We’ll talk more tomorrow about the difficulties this passage poses in terms of our unanswered prayers.
For today, let’s hear what Jesus is saying to us: God will act. He will act justly. He will respond to his children when they cry out to him. God is good and acts in accordance to his character. God is good and he hears the requests of his children. God is good and in his goodness he will not put us off forever.
As Christians, we don’t believe in “the power of prayer,” we believe in the power of a good God who loves us and who is Lord over our prayers. On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate that God's love is deeper and truer and more wondrous than any Hallmark card notions of love. And we celebrate that whenever God acts, true love is released into the cosmos.
Prayer is one of the mechanisms God gives to us to receive his love and to influence how that love gets expressed in this world.
And because God is perfectly good and perfect love, Jesus urges us to always pray, and never give up.
Take a minute to anchor yourself in the character of God: God is Better-than-Valentines-Day Love. God is Good. God is All Wisdom. God is Almighty. God is All-Knowing. God is Perfectly Faithful. God is Pure Light. God is Pure Joy. God is Deep Peace. God is holy. Which of the characteristics of God do you need to as your primary source and orientation today? Which of those characteristics will help you to pray today, and never give up?