Order of Worship for this Reflection: Bulletin-10-16-2022 YC P24
Scriptures: Jeremiah 31:27-34; Luke 18:1-8
Let us pray:
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts guide our understanding, O Holy One. Nurture us we pray, as we grow into who you would fashion us to be. Amen.
Commentator Bruce Boak writes,
“Jeremiah challenges the Jews in captivity, and us, to embrace the place where God has us and find ways to be faithful in our living, so that others might inquire about our inspiration, our resolve, and our trust, and thereby be drawn into relationship with God.”
“Drawn into relationship with God….” I don’t know about you, but I would love to be drawn into a deeper relationship with God. I have a hard time figuring out what that is like in a practical sense because I am merely human, but I can imagine some aspects. Being drawn into relationship with God means God is the initiator – not because God needs us or wants us or needs anything or wants anything but simply because it is God’s nature to reach out and love unconditionally. What an amazing gift! What does it look like to be drawn into relationship with God? How does God reach out and initiate that drawing? Is it like the still small voice Elijah hears in the cave? Is it like the unjust judge who, even in the midst of his choosing not to grant justice finally does anyway – not because he claims a grounded spiritual life but because some unidentifiable movement of the Spirit prompted him to anyway? Or is it a deep feeling in our hearts of being strangely warmed like John Wesley? Or is it standing in quiet curiosity and thanksgiving as a flock of cedar wax wings flicker in the treetops above one’s head eating Autumn berries, listening to their quiet voices and rustling wings.
I wonder, if in our daily lives, in ordinary places, at ordinary times, we can still find ourselves drawn into relationship with God? Do we have to be healed miraculously like last week’s lepers? Or can we stop for a moment, look up and stand transfigured by the sunlight shining through the changing colors of the leaves, giving them an unearthly glow even as the chill wind of fall begins to blow. If we can do that, then perhaps the next step is a mustard seed’s worth of faith to crack the door to a deeper relationship – maybe even a deeper love – with our spouse, our children, our parents, our grandchildren, our friends and co-workers, and yes, even God.
Like the Samaritan leper who was healed, like the persistent widow, let us live fully in the present, seek justice, love mercy, and give thanks for all that Jesus has done to get us this far; keep us peering through a Gospel lens to see what happens next, within and without, and allowing us to view our past, present, and future as a part of God’s whole Community of Creation. “For the days are surely coming, says the Lord, … I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; … I will be their God, and they shall be my people…34 they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest….”
Let us pray:
“Thanks be to you, O God, that you have made us in the image of your own mystery. That in the soul of every human being there are depths beyond naming and heights greater than knowing.
Grant us the grace of inner sight this day, that we may see you as the Self within all selves. Grant us the grace of love this day that … we may find the treasure that is unlocked by love and know the richness that lies buried in the human soul.”
May all glory be unto the One who lived and died and rose again for us, even Him who is the Christ. Amen?
 Bruce G. Boak, “Pastoral Perspective, Luke 18:1-8” in Feasting on the Word, Year C (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009).
 Adapted from Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter