October 16, 2022

C47: The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C (2022)

Debie Thomas

In today’s sermon, Debie Thomas, Minister of Lifelong Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California and blogger at Journey with Jesus, explores the parable of the “persistent widow” from Luke 18:1-8. This parable raises some troubling questions about prayer and God’s response to our prayers. Does God answer our prayers because, like the unjust judge, God gets tired of hearing us ask? The parable tells us that “God quickly grants justice” to those who cry out to God. However, Thomas points out that our life experiences often show that “God does delay, and our most fervent prayers…go unanswered.” Thomas asks, “So what are we to make of this parable?” She says, “I wonder if the story is less about God, and more about us. I wonder if it’s about the state of our hearts, and about the motivations behind our prayers. Maybe what’s at stake is not who God is and how God operates in the world, but who we are, and why we need so desperately to be people of persistent prayer.” Listen as Thomas explores the parable from the points of view of both the widow and the judge. What can we learn from the persistence of each?

Manuscript available: click HERE