Mother's Day is this weekend. On the radio this morning they were talking about the top 5 gifts to give and the top 5 gifts not to give. Jesus wins hand's down.
This week's Bible Lesson includes the story of Jesus encountering a funeral procession as he and a crowd of followers approached the city of Nain. Earlier Jesus had raised a little girl from death. Her father had travelled to find Jesus and beg him to come to them. That child had loving, concerned parents. As a large party of professional mourners were already busy moaning and wailing when they got there, one can assume that family was well off. Later, Jesus would raise Lazarus from his tomb. This was a young man he knew and loved, as he also loved the sisters. They were surrounded by family and friends.
But this funeral procession, though made up of a crowd, was different. The mother was widowed so there was no husband. This had been her only son, so she was going to be alone and unprotected, with no income. The other instances where Jesus raised someone from the dead did not leave the mother, already in deep mourning, in such dire straits.
One wonders if he was so moved with compassion because he knew what his own mother would soon face. She was not alone, he had brothers although Joseph had died, and a circle of friends, many of them disciples, there is no denying the agony she would endure when he was arrested, beaten, and crucified. The unspeakable experience of seeing him on the cross. She had other sons but this was not only her first born, but one born in extraordinary circumstances.
That may or may not have been on his mind, but he stopped the procession, restored the boy to life, and presented him to his mother. There must have been a great comfort in doing that.
So how timely that it is in our Lesson this week. A gift to Mother's everywhere.