Be Annoying for God (Heretic’s Guide for Sunday, Oct 20, 2013)

Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!)

First Reading
Jeremiah 31:27-34
God is preparing to spiritually clean house with the people of Israel. Although they broke the covenant with God that had been made before their time in Egypt, God will infuse this new covenant within them, on their hearts, so they cannot forsake it. All former sins will be forgiven and there will be a new beginning.

Genesis 32:22-31
Jacob wrestles with a man in a place he names “Peniel,” after the experience he had there. He claims to have seen God face to face that night, and refused to let the mane go without being blessed. The man ultimately blesses him (renaming him “Israel”) but also strikes him on the hip joint, which explained his off-balance walk.

Psalm 119:97-104
A song of praise for God’s law, which keeps the psalmist on the path of righteousness and away from evil.

Psalm 121
A psalm beseeching those who hear it to trust in the God of Israel for both protection and guidance throughout their lives. Theirs is a God who can be trusted.

Second reading
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Paul encourages Timothy to hang in there, and to cling to the teachings of the ancient sacred texts and from the Gospels that he has depended on his whole life. He notes that there will be times when people will stray from proper teaching and will seek out religious leaders who say what they’d rather hear. But Timothy’s mandate, per Paul, is not to buckle under the pressure or criticism, but rather to stay true to what he’s been taught.

Luke 18:1-8
Jesus tells a parable about persistence. A woman annoys a judge who holds no regard for God or other people until he imparts to her the justice she seeks, if for no other reason than to get her to shut up about it. Jesus’ point is that part of our job in being faithful is to be persistent in asking for the justice we seek for ourselves and the world. Rest assured God will provide it, undoubtedly more immediately than some judge who is only interested in picking up a paycheck. 

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