Dear Gulf Coast Leaders,

Prayer List – Prayers to include in your private prayers and prayers of the church.
Lectionary readings.

For the Craig Saterlee event, below, register now. We need about 50 to make these events work, and right now we’re at about 25.

David Booher in Alaska
David Beckman and Bread for the World

Today, October 10 – Ordination of Andrew Schensted at 4 p.m. Kinsmen Lutheran Church (12100 Champion Forest Drive). A reception will follow. Clergy are invited to vest (red) and process. Andrew is a son of Kinsmen and Camp Lutherhill. All are welcome.

October 24 – Global Mission Festival. Living Word, Katy.
October 28-November 2 – Proclaiming the Christmas Cycle with Dr. Craig Satterlee, LSTC Homiletics Prof will present a method for preaching, using the Advent/Christmas A cycle. 9:30-3:30. $30. Order the Proclamation Series A.. Thursday, October 28 at Salem, Houston, October 29 in Columbus, Texas and Tuesday, 11/2 at Peace, Slidell, LA

November 4 – Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialog. Sign up now.
November 7 – Rite of Reception and Affirmation of Ordination of Lura Groen. Grace, Houston. 4 p.m.
January 24-26 – 2011 Tri-Synodical Theological Conference, at Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center in Galveston, TX. Marcus Borg, presenter:Then and Now: What the First Century Can Teach the 21st Century Church. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN:

Two books to read in preparation:

The Unjust Judge

X 9/12 Luke 15:1-10 Lost coin/sheep (heaven rejoices more over 1 lost than 99 found)
X 9/19 Luke 16:1-13 Shrewd Manager (make friends by means of unrighteous mammon)
X 9/26 Luke 16:19-31 Rich Man and Lazarus (flip flop of rich and poor in the next life)
X 10/3 Luke 17:5-10 Mustard Seed?undeserving Slaves
X 10/10 Luke 17:11-19 10 Lepers
10/17 Luke 18:1-8 Judge and Widow (pray/don’t lose heart)
10/24 Luke 18:9-14 Publican and Pharisee (humility/warning against hypocrisy)

October 17, 2010 – Pentecost 21
Jeremiah 31:27-34 or Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 119:97-104 or Psalm 121
2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5
Luke 18:1-8 – Parable of the Judge and the Widow

This week and next week we are in Luke 18. Brian Stoffregen points out how important justice is to Luke: The Greek "dik-" refers to justice – what is right or fair.

a-dik-ia — unjust (18:6)
a-dik-os — evildoers (18:11)
anti-dik-os — opponent (18:3)
dik-aios — righteous (18:9)
dik-aioo — justified (18:14)
ek-dik-eo — grant justice (18:3, 5)
ek-dik-esis — grant justice (18:7, 8)

In Luke 18 Jesus reveals God’s righteousness/justice by answering prayer for a poor widow (this coming week) and a sinful, but humble tax collector (next week).

Luke tells us the point at the beginning: "Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart." (Luke 18:1) Jesus’ point seems to be if a crooked judge will give justice, then take heart – certainly a righteous God will too. The parable is as much about yearning for justice as it is being fervent in prayer.

The themes are familiar to the canonical prophets as well as in apocryphal literature.

For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint; Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against him that causes them to fall? He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right. (Sirach 35)

It is easy to see the injustices of the world and get overwhelmed. Our hearts break for those who are treated like garbage in this world, for those who suffer, for those who have nothing to eat, for those sold into slavery. Jesus, in this parable peculiar to Luke, tells us not to lose heart. It is consistent with Luke’s call to action, and to prayer.

Father Gerry Pierse offers an alternate interpretation of this parable that I found unconvincing, but worth reading. He says we’re the unjust judge, and God is the persistent widow demanding justice:

For your class, check out this Bible study approach to Luke 18:1-8:

Michael Rinehart, bishop

Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod

12941 I-45 North Freeway, Suite #210

Houston, Texas 77060-1243

(281) 873-5665

Synod Webpage:

Bishop’s Webpage: