Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wednesday- reaching out

Prayer:  Today Almighty God,  may we screech to a halt to spend time in Your presence.   May we devote ourselves to this time of study and meditation and reflection upon Your glorious Word.    In Your Son’s name,  our Lord.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 7:  11 – 17
From Capernaum,  Jesus and the Disciples and a large crowd head off to Nain.   Geographically we know that Nain is somewhere in Galilee,  but the town no longer exists.   Some Biblical Scholars state that Nain was near Nazareth.  

As Jesus and his followers approach the gates of the town,  they screech to a halt.  A funeral procession is coming through. A mother is burying her son.   Remember that dealing with anyone dead makes a Jew unclean.

Does Jesus stand on the far side of the road and hide his face?  No,  not at all.  His heart went out to the  mother  and he says, “Don’t cry”.    Then he goes up and touches the coffin.    Can’t you hear the followers of Jesus suddenly said, “Don’t do that Jesus!”  “What are you doing?”

Jesus touches the coffin and those carrying it stood still.  No kidding.   The coffin bearers know they are already unclean but here is this man wanting to touch the coffin and become unclean.   They might even consider him to be a bit mentally deranged.

Jesus says, ‘Young man,  I say to you,  get up!”   The young man sits up and begins talking.     The dead young man would be wrapped in burial clothes in which spices are wrapped.    He would have had wrappings over his face as well.    This is starting to sound like a Horror Movie…. The young man in his burial wrappings sits up and starts talking.    (It never says in the Bible if those who were carrying the coffin freaked out and dropped the coffin does it….)

Jesus then gives the young man back to his mother.   What has Jesus done?  Why did Jesus’ heart go out to the mother?   Because there is no mention of a father at the funeral procession,  we  assume that the father has died.  And now her son has died.   The mother is all alone.  After the death of her husband,  widows depended upon their sons to care for them and hold the property of their father.  Without a husband and a son,  the widow would have been homeless.   

And what do the followers say about this great healing?   “They were all filled with awe and praised God.  A great prophet has appeared among us, they said.  God has come to help his people.  This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding county”  (St. Luke 7: 16 – 17  NIV Zondervan 1981)

Jesus saw the mother’s pain and reached out,  in love,  to help her.  This day,  who will God ask you to help?

Prayer:   Immortal God,  may we too today be filled with awe and praise of You.   Help us to remember that You have come to help all Your people.   This day,  O LORD,  may You open our eyes to those who need Your help.   In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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