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Pentecost +3 June 5, 2016 The prophet and the widow’s son.

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Luke 7:11-17

11Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town.13When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” 15The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” 17This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.

I find this reading very interesting, it is actually a retelling of the widow and Elijah found in 1 Kings 17:8-24. It’s good to have a look and see the similarities between them. The author of Luke is trying to help the people he was telling about Jesus understand that Jesus was as important as Elijah . He is showing the signs and marks of the prophet. The drawing this week is of the Luke reading yet the Kings reading is like a shadow behind it. The small tree at the prophet Elijah has grown into a huge tree with Jesus, there are widows in great despair in both stories, both with a dead son that is brought back to life. For a widow to lose her son means that she also looses everything her house her land, with no man to care for her she has nothing. She is right to think it is not just death of her son but also of herself.

Why is this story so important? What does it show us about God and who God is? I hear it said that often the Old Testament is so different from the New Testament, that God is so different. Yet here we see God’s action remaining the same, compassion and help for those who are most vulnerable.. What does this mean for us now?  God might not have brought any widows sons back from the dead recently, but God’s love and compassion for those most vulnerable remains.. As followers of Jesus we too are called to show compassion and mercy to all who are vulnerable.. For me it is also about when we are at our most vulnerable that God has compassion on us and is working for us.. We are not alone..

 

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