Alpine Trials Rally,
Painted by Bryan de Grineau (1883-1957),
Signed and dated 1934 lower right,
charcoal, watercolour and gouache heightened with white on board
© Bonhams, Goodwood Revival sale, September 2021, lot 20, sold £1,900
About the need to pray continually and never lose heart
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’
Reflection on the gouache on paper
In case we might miss the point of today's parable of the Unjust Judge, Jesus prefaces it with its essential meaning: ‘the need to pray continually and never lose heart’. To put this into context, Jesus knows that soon he will be judged, executed and die for us on the Cross. So in our reading of today, he is directly encouraging us to pray continually until he comes back. The last sentence of the reading is a question, ‘When the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’ It implies that when he comes back, will he find you and me praying? Or will we have lost heart by then and given up? It is a direct invitation for us to continue to pray.
The implication of what Jesus is telling us is that prayer and faith go together hand in hand. Faith and prayer stand and fall together! If faith is the car that take us to our destination, then prayer is the fuel that feeds the engine. One can’t go without the other.
So today we are looking at a gouache of a classic car being propelled through the Alps by the fuel it carries. The car, the fuel, the driver will navigate the bends, the twists, the bumps that the road ahead will bring... All are there to get us from one destination to the next!
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