Yesterday I preached on the very familiar passage that we've termed the Lord's Prayer (albeit this week we read Luke's much-shorter version). I have preached on this text several times over the years, and I've always been able to spend enough time on just the prayer that I have been able to avoid the story that follows. The one about the guy waking up his neighbor in the middle of the night, asking for bread to feed a guest who's just arrived. Of course his neighbor is like many of us (or like me anyway): No, I don't want to get up, it's the middle of the night, it'll wake the kids up (and I know from experience in my own home that waking up little kids in the middle of the night sucks for everyone involved). "Go away," I'm sure the neighbor is thinking. But then the verse that always had me run away from this whole story: "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." In other words, if the guy is "persistent", then the neighbor will finally help him out. In other other words, if he keeps bugging the hell out of the neighbor...(To keep the children metaphor among us, it makes me think of my son asking me to get him a cup of chocolate milk, and when I don't jump in 15 seconds, he asks me again. 15 seconds later, he asks me again.....) And then right after this we get the well-known references to asking and seeking and knocking.