SERMON TITLE: “Parables of Power: Praying for Justice”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 18:1-14
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: July 31, 2016, at First UMC
Many years ago, after my father-in-law Joe had died, my mother-in-law Cordelia was involved in a legal dispute with her neighbor. The neighbor claimed that Joe had allowed him to put his fence in a certain place, and therefore, the land up to the fence belonged to the neighbor. Cordelia knew that that strip of land belonged to her, and she was quite certain that Joe had never given the neighbor permission to put his fence on their land. If Joe hadn’t actively protested the fence, that was only because Joe was a nice guy who didn’t want to make waves, not because he intended to change the property line or give away their land. Of course, by the time Cordelia was in the dispute with the neighbor, Joe was dead, so he wasn’t any help in settling the conflict. Consequently, both the neighbor and Cordelia hired lawyers and pled their case to a judge. Being a widow who needed strength and being a woman of faith, you can be sure that my mother-in-law also spent some time talking with God about the problem. Cordelia was praying for justice.
Throughout this month of July, we’ve been reading Jesus’ “Parables of Power” from the Gospel of Luke. We’ve heard Jesus speak of the power that comes from investing in the future, sowing and growing, seeking and finding, and managing faithfully. Today’s scripture text from Luke 18 includes two stories which involve prayer and justice. Since most of us have felt wronged or betrayed at one time or another, let’s see how these parables of power can assist us in praying for justice.
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