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Mothers of the Disappeared

On the afternoon of 30 April 1977, 14 courageous women set aside fear – and their families’ warnings – and left their homes to confront the dictatorship that had stolen their children.
That day marked the first weekly march by the mothers of Argentina’s “disappeared” against the military commanders who had planned the systematic murder of thousands.
Four decades on and 2,037 marches later, the mothers are still marching, though some of them must now use wheelchairs.
We think of parables as being encouraging, uplifting stories that show us God’s nature.
Some parables are intended to show what God is like. Others, to show what God is NOT like, to tear away the veil of our distorted images of God and assure us of his goodness
Parable of the Dishonest Manager 16:1-9
Parable of the Widow and Unjust Judge 18:1-8
Parable of the Ten Pounds 19:11-27

Where are the unjust judges?

Is God like that?

We've all known the unjust judge We've all known the dishonest manager Here’s the question” Is God like that?
Why the hard sayings? Break up the soil of old thinking - Craddock

Distorted realities

Distorted view of God Distorted view of the world We expect the world to be just and things to go our way We all know that the world is full of brokenness and selfish people
The unjust judge wears many disguises: prejudice, hatred, fear, the disease that won’t be healed, economic systems, death, grief, addiction. Regardless of the disguise the unjust judge neither fears God nor respects people.
Standing before the unjust judge life seems big, powerful, and overwhelming. You feel small, powerless, and alone. There is no one to defend or represent you. You stand by yourself unsure what to believe about life or yourself. No matter what you do or say nothing changes, nothing works. You don’t know what else to do so, like the widow in Jesus’ parable, day after day you cry out. That is the widow’s story in today’s parable, in today’s world, sometimes even in our own life. Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever stood before the unjust judge?
And instead of crying out to God in prayer, we project that selfishness onto God
Some believe that prayer is about convincing, cajoling, persuading, or wearing down God so God will do what we ask. It is the idea that God is out there somewhere and not here, that God is either unaware or uncaring about us and this world. So we have to persuade God to show up and act. That only happens if we are good enough, believe the right things, and say the right words enough times. That is not what it means to pray always. If that is what we have been taught or come to believe this parable says otherwise. Jesus rejects that understanding of the relationship between God and his people. God is nothing like the unjust judge. God sees our suffering. God hears our cries. God quickly grants justice. But when?
Injustice, dishonest, selfishness: this is the "reality" we see all around us. It can be exhausting It tries to hide from us the deeper reality of God's goodness and his love

Who can we trust?

So what do we do when we stand before the unjust judge? What do we do when we see another human being standing before the unjust judge? Some will get angry and fight back becoming as hardened and unjust as the judge himself. Some will give up and believe what the unjust judge says, believing that is the final reality of life and it will never get better. Others will blame and accuse God of being the unjust judge. There are a few, however, who will discover and trust the widow’s faith.
“Pray always and do not lose heart,” Jesus says. That is the widow’s faith. Day after day she shows up. Day after day she speaks of the injustice done to her. Day after day she holds her pain before the judge, the world, and God. - widow’s faith always involves waiting. How long? When will it change? I don’t know. But I do know that waiting does not mean God is absent. Waiting does not mean God is uncaring. Waiting does not mean God is not already active. You see, the widow does not wait on God. She waits with God. To pray always is what keeps her from losing heart. It keeps her showing up day after day trusting that God sees, hears, and acts.
When will it be OK?
To pray always is what keeps us, in thought, word, and deed, present to and in relationship with God so that when God does act we will be there. Imagine the tragedy if one day the widow gave up. She just could not stand another day of crying out, pointing to the injustice of her life, holding her pain for the world to see, so she didn’t and that was the day the judge ruled, that was the day life changed. I wonder how much of God’s life, love, compassion, forgiveness, healing we have missed because we did not show up. To pray always is what insures we are present so that when the Son of Man comes he will find faith on earth. He will find us, the widows of the world who refused to let the unjust judge have the final say.
To live the widow’s faith may be some of the most difficult and necessary work we do. Pray always and do not lose heart. Jesus does not ask us to do what we cannot do. He does not ask to go where he has not already been. He has lived the widow’s faith. He is the archetypal widow. The widow’s life and faith, his life and faith, have been given to us. It is already deep within each of us. You already have all that you need to face the unjust judge of this world. So go live like the widows God knows you to be.
vindication of the persistent widow
9-14 vindication of the sinner
“In Spite of”, not “Because of”
Vindication/justification - Judge finds in your favour - cf. Paul
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