When I was growing up in the Upper Midwest the big names in professional “rassling” that I remember were Vern Gagne, Farmer Marlin and Man Mountain Dean.  But none of them could hold a candle to Jacob in Genesis 32, when it came to keeping-on-keeping-on or persistence.  While spending the night by the Jabbok Creek, he was accosted in the dark by a man with whom he wrestled throughout the night to a draw.  Turned out the man was God.  But Jacob would not let go until this man – God would bless him.

Another example of persistence is the widow in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:1-8) whom he uses as an example to keep on praying and not losing heart.  She badgered a judge who cared neither for God nor her until she worn him down and he finally gave up, gave in and granted her request.

A third example of keeping-on-keeping-on is in Paul’s letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5).  Paul encourages him to keep-on-keeping-on in what “you have learned and have firmly believed. And keep on preaching and teaching “in season and out of season.”

Ultimately all this persistence finds its reason in Jesus Christ. We prayed in the Collect prayer, that the Holy Spirit would “direct and govern our hearts in all things that we may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of Your name.”  So we prayed to the “almighty and everlasting God…through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.”

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