Wrestling God

Watching for the morning of October 20

Year C

The Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost:
Proper 24 / Lectionary 29

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jacob wrestles with the angel.  A widow wrestles with a corrupt judge.  The psalmist sings about the pilgrims’ confidence in God’s protection as they travel through the hill country towards the holy city.  Paul writes to Timothy about the living breath of God in the scriptures – and the challenges to come from those with “itching ears” looking for teachers that will tell them what they want to hear.

Struggle, persistence, confidence, faithfulness.  Though the Gospel reading seems to suggest that this Sunday is about prayer, it is more about the struggle of faith.  Even as Jesus urges us to be a community praying in confidence for that day when God’s vindication is revealed, the reading ends with that haunting question, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

The Prayer for October 20, 2013

Gracious God, we give you thanks
that you will goodness for our lives
and are eager to hear our prayer.
Deepen our trust in your promises,
our confidence in your mercy,
our joy in your ways,
and set our hope firmly in you

The Texts for October 20, 2013

First Reading: Genesis 32:22-31
“Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.”
– Caught between Laban behind him and Esau in front of him, Jacob struggles through the night with “a man” at the river Jabbok.

Psalmody: Psalm 121
“I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?” – a pilgrim song, sung as people journey through the (dangerous) hill country towards Jerusalem.

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5
16All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” – Urging Timothy to remain faithful to what he has learned and to stay rooted in the scriptures, Paul speaks of the living breath/Spirit of God that is present in and working through these writings

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
“In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.” – With a story about a widow beseeching a corrupt judge, Jesus urges his followers to faithful prayer for God’s dawning reign.

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