Readings for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Luke 18:1-8; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5; Genesis 32:22-30
Discouragement, apathy, doubt, the desire to give up. Is the Christian life really supposed to be this hard? If only I had a stronger faith then perhaps I wouldn’t struggle so much!
Next Sunday’s readings help to dispel the notion that having a strong faith means you’ll always walk around with a carefree smile and a pep in your step.
Jesus anticipates our difficulties with waiting on God to act. He knows we will be tempted to throw up our hands and give up praying when God’s justice seems to delay. So by a parable he tells us to keep on praying and not to lose heart. Our God is full of mercy and compassion, and He is listening (Luke 18).
The Old Testament reading tells of how Jacob wrestled with God all through the night. Though exhausted and in pain, Jacob refused to let go of God until he received a blessing (Gen 32).
In the Epistle reading, Paul continues to encourage pastor Timothy. He should trust the effectiveness of Scripture because it is God’s inspired Word. Even when people lose their taste for it and stop listening, Timothy must continue to preach and teach God’s Word (2 Tim 3).