Tag Archives: Proper 5C

God’s compassionate presence

Readings
1 Kings 17.8–24
Galatians 1.11–24
Luke 7.11–17

Today, Jesus goes to Nain. Nain was a tiny village in Galilee, not far from Mt Tabor. I’m sure nothing much happened there, but one day Jesus was going there with his disciples and a large crowd. I imagine them to be in high spirits, walking with this new teacher who was doing such wonderful things. After all, who could help but be buoyed up in this situation? What a day they were having! The story could have been about them. But it’s not.

The crowd with Jesus isn’t the only mob there that day. There is another large crowd of people, but they were sad and despondent. They were accompanying a widow who had lost her only son, and they were taking him to his last resting place. This second crowd probably consisted of most of the village of Nain.

Two “large crowds” meet face to face. The road would have been a bit too narrow to accommodate everyone. I guess neither group could just politely pass the other by. They met that day not just face to face, but eye to eye.

Two crowds, two moods, one entering Nain, the other crowd leaving. They couldn’t avoid each other.

Maybe nothing much ever happened in Nain, but I can sense some tension in the air that day.

I wonder how the people with Jesus felt? Perhaps their day out with the teacher was spoiled by all the wailing and mourning that went along with a funeral procession in that time and place. Some of them must have been annoyed.

And how did the people of Nain feel? Here are all these outsiders, coming on a day that they just needed to be alone. A day they were sharing the grief of a poor widow. Now these strangers were coming into their village, on a day when there was no one home to guard their property. Continue reading

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