These two women are still on the ELCA calendar but apparently some churches are moving them to share July 20 with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Amelia Jenks Bloomer. Why? There's no other commemoration today and I see NO reason why Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth should have to share a day with two other women. Especially since Tubman died on March 10. Plenty of MEN get their own day.
Enough of that rant...this is the Gospel appointed for this day:
And he said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, "Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him." 7And he answers from within, "Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything." 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
'So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
I think often when we read the text from Luke we think in terms of our individual wants and needs and wonder why when we have asked and asked, God has not given us what we want. But reading about these two women who for years prayed and worked for the delivery of their people puts this text in a different perspective. They were able to see abolition in their lifetime but –even then African Americans endured great hardships in this country.
What if Luke 11 wasn't just about me and my problems? What if perseverance in prayer was about the big things? What if it was persevering in working to feed the hungry, working to end oppression, standing up for those who have no voice in this world, working for peace, even as it seems those causes seem to go on and on. Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman might have thought they had everything going against them as black, slaves and women. And yet they persevered in prayer and trust and faith that God had called them to change their world.