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Oct 18, 2016

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In this episode, the clear theme is perseverance (patience + faith in action). Although we may associate perseverance with struggle and difficulty, we might just as easily associate it with something more positive-discipline, which leads to accomplishment and growth. Rev. Gibson and Johnny Gwin share their personal memories and anecdotes on the importance of perseverance in our spiritual and daily life (even though Johnny keeps saying "persistence") and how we should be consistent & structured in or prayers (in good and bad times) and never lose hope. Rev. Gibson introduces Johnny to the writer/poet Mary Karr and they discuss the lessons in her real life and spiritual transformation from agnostic childhood to alcoholic, to the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius and the Catholic Church.  Plus, they re-enforce the running theme of why we should all create a welcoming and loving church for others, especially those that we see as "different." Mary Karr's observation that "America's new religion is doubt" is addressed and Rev. Gibson gives insight into us rejecting this mindset by seeing and using our words and actions as a gift to our culture and an example of the positivity of the Jesus Movement.

Click for Full Text  of Rev. Beverly Gibson's Weekly Worship Notes.

{Editor's note: paraphrased from Rev. Gibson's weekly worship notes email}
We continue to follow the prophet Jeremiah's account of Israel's exile in Babylon. What God indicates in Jeremiah's prophecy is that the law will become so instinctual that the traditions of teaching would become unnecessary. This implies that the relationship between God and his people would become ever closer and more intimate; God would "dwell in" them, and they would know the law in a new way. As Paul closes his second letter to Timothy, he encourages his "beloved child" to be steadfast in his ministry. He is to rely on scripture, to teach it, to use it for discipline in good works. Jesus takes up the theme of persistence as well in this week's parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow. This parable is a plain example of the power of not giving up. Although the judge in the parable does not care about justice and has no sympathy for the widow, he grants her request just so she will leave him alone. How much more, then, will God, who is justice and who loves us very much, grant our requests. Still, we must not give up in asking, thinking that because we do not see immediate results from our prayers, God is not at work. In fact, God's answering may not look like we had imagined; it may well be daunting, even terrifying, asking more of us than we want to give. We all encounter moments of challenge in life, times when more is demanded of our discipline and devotion that we think we are able to give. Our lessons and prayers this week remind us that the key is not giving up-persevere in discipline.

Challenge this week:
Reflect on this question: Why do I follow Jesus?

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Weekly Readings:
Jeremiah 31:27-34
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

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Thanks for listening and have a great and peaceful week.