Luke 11:8b “ . . . at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs . . .”
This verse in the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of Luke sticks out as a key verse in the context of Jesus’ teaching on prayer. With the key word being, persistence (persist). Defined by Dictionary.com as “to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc.”
Not that I have ignored the meaning of the word persist in the past, but as a father to three active, energetic, curious young kids, I experience it often. The answer of no, them experiencing failure, or the reply “not right now” is not an option for them in most cases. I value that about them in many ways.
I wonder if this is how we need to be as adults in the Christian faith in regards to advancing the church into its next chapter. Not aimlessly, compulsive or without much prayer, discernment and being strategic in our approaches. But, yes, with prayer and persistence moving forward toward the future church. We must persist in living into and fulfilling the Gospel ministry and mission in new ways that meet the growing needs and challenges that God’s people and the world are facing today. And do what Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask . . . search . . . and knock . . .”
Our persistence must not be beholden to who we were, especially in light of what has already been revealed in this era of COVID-19 about ministry and mission. If the local church can persist in what it learned about itself when the building was off limits, then we can truly become the church. And, maybe, our pursuit of peace, joy, love, and justice will not be far behind.
May we persist toward the future church and not the church of old.