Nick Name

A Person’s Nick Name Need Not Be Unforgettable

Ed, my neighbor next door, has recently renamed me, Tread-less Rev. During, the last month I have been in and out of our house in my clerical shirt. It will continue for the next few months as I will be doing pastoral work at area congregations until new pastors get relocated. Ed claims that anyone can see from my bald head that there is no tread left on me. He is certain that the congregations have a need to hurry up and get pastors with some decent tread on them. Ed claims that, by my age, my sermons are paper thin and flat. His opinion is that a person can’t stop on old tread-bare tires, and old pastors can’t be trusted to stop preaching, after five minutes. Five minutes are Ed’s absolute limit for sermon length.

I told Ed that he needed a better nick name for me. Of course, Ed wanted to know how I was an authority on nicknames. I said that a nick name should be unforgettable like: One-Eyed Mike, Blasphemous Bill, Pious Pete, Dangerous Dan McGrew, Hard-Luck Henry, Barb-Wire Bill and Lip-Stick Liz. Ed accused me of just making up such nicknames. I said that I had borrowed them from the poems of Robert Service. Ed said that since the nicknames were in poems, I’m the only one that ever heard of them. I told him no one will remember Tread-less Rev. That is pretty much where we parted company with us both content to disagree with each other and remain at an impasse.

Ed and I are often at an impasse. Thankfully our differences of opinions aren’t serious. Unfortunately, life is often at an impasse about opinions and actions that do matter greatly. Folks can have important matters to be dealt with. They may need an authority greater than themselves to declare who is right and who is wrong. Courts with judges are needed to break the impasse that separates two people. Judges need to pronounce a verdict, so that, folks can find justice and a resolve to a situation that is troubling them.

In the Bible, Jesus tells of a widow who kept coming to a judge asking the judge to give her justice against her adversary. For a while, the judge refused to give justice on behalf of the widow. The judge neither feared God nor respected man. After a while, the judge decided he would give the widow justice only because he did not want the widow to keep bothering him with her case. Jesus used the story to compare the difference between an uncaring judge and our righteous God in heaven when it comes to prayer. When we cry out to God, he will quickly give us justice as his own elect. Jesus wanted everyone to know we ought always to pray and not lose heart.

With an uncaring judge, the widow’s only hope was to beat the judge down with her continual coming to him for justice. Our God is willing and ready to answer our prayers speedily. We will get an answer from God that reflects his will for us. He will give us the right answer to our prayer according to his exacting timetable. That is why we always pray without losing heart.

 

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Raymond Maher
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