As a young boy, I remember hearing about the incredible story of the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-13). As long as Moses held the “staff of God” (which was used for deliverance against Pharaoh) over the battle, the Israelites were successful and when his hand dropped they were overcome by the enemy. The assistance of Aaron and Hur, supporting Moses’ hands on either side, brought about victory that day at Rephidim. Victory in any battle cannot be accomplished without support or perseverance.
Paul’s exhortation to Timothy “to remain faithful to what he has learned and believed” (2 Timothy 3:14) is further nuanced by the Lucan parable of the unwilling judge and the tenacious woman (18:1-8). Persistence, along with perseverance and support, helps us to discipline our actions and thoughts. We call upon the Lord who gives us strength:
Lord, tireless guardian of your people, always ready to hear the cries of your chosen ones, teach us to rely, day and night, on your care. Support our prayers lest we grow weary. Impel us to seek your enduring justice and your ever present help.
Each year, on the First Sunday of Advent, the disposable hymn books are replaced annually by contractual agreement with the publisher. This year, we have decided to replace the disposable hymnals with a permanent Hymnal called “Gather.” These hymnals should serve us well for many years. We will be offering each hymnal to be placed in the pews to be used as a “memorial” for a loved one. The name of your loved one will be placed on the inside front cover of the book. The cost of these memorials will be $25.00.
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!