Monday, January 28, 2008

Love - Jesus reversed the parade

This week's Bible Lesson is about God as Love. Not just a loving God, but Love itself. Most of the lesson refers to the story of Job and I will get into that tomorrow. For today I want to set the tone for the week by another story included in the lesson. This is about Jesus and the widow's son. It is in Luke 7: 11-15

Just prior to this Jesus had been approached by a committee on behalf of a Centurion. He had a servant who was dear to him (that tells a lot right there) and he had asked the elders of the Jews to go to Jesus and have him come and heal the servant. The elders spoke well of this man, saying he was worthy of help as he had been a friend to the Jews and built them a synogogue. Jesus agrees to go but as he approaches, the Centurion sends out messengers saying that Jesus is not to trouble himself by actually coming to the house. The Centurion is a man with many men under his command and he understands authority. He believes Jesus needs only to speak the word and the servant will be healed. Jesus marvels at the confidence behind those words. When those servants return to the house they find the man whole that had been sick.

From there Jesus and his followers head toward the city of Nain, accompanied by a great crowd of people. There must have been quite a buzz as they marveled over the healing work Jesus was doing. As they came near the city gate they saw a procession coming out of the city. It was a dead man being carried out to be buried. A crowd as large as their own accompanied the mother. This was her only son and she was a widow. In those times that made her situation very difficult. She would have no one to care for or protect her. Jesus understood that and had compassion for her.

Now Luke refers to Jesus as Lord for the first time. Jesus speaks to the woman telling her to weep no more. Both groups of people must have been wondering what he planned to do. Those traveling with him may have passed along to the others what had just happened with the Centurion's servant. Jesus touched the bier, so that those carrying it stopped. He speaks directly to the young man, saying unto him 'arise'. And he who had been dead, sat up and began to speak. One wonders what he said. Jesus then delivers him to his mother. One wonders what she said.
Now both crowds merge and what started out as a funeral procession becomes a celebratory parade of great rejoicing. Jesus completely turned that seemingly hopeless situation around.

The Golden Text is ....Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou are mine. This is what Love does. Love knows us by our name, on a very personal basis. It calls to us and reminds us that we have been redeemed. It reminds us just who we belong to. You belong to divine Love who is watching over every aspect of your being. Love completely turns any seemingly hopeless situation around. When that really sinks into your thought, when you really 'get' it....I wonder what you will say.

Be at peace.

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