Luke 7:11-17 "Do not weep," Jesus says to the widow. The theme of this week's scriptures culminates in this compassionate consolation of our Lord. She had reason to weep; this was her only son and she was a widow. Her life was uncertain, her provisions for the future unclear. She had lost everything.
Yet Jesus encourages her, "Do not weep." In this moment Jesus is not diminishing the reality of her pain. He does not question her faith or ask her why she isn't trusting God to provide for her. He simply addresses her, "Do not weep." And in his address, God's presence has met her reality. The time for weeping is no more, God is here. Life is present.
We live on the joyful side of Easter. This does not mean we will never have times of weeping. Yet in our weeping we should always be aware that God has come; God's saving life is among us. So even in the midst of our deepest grief, we can hear Christ's command as comfort. "Do not weep." God has a future for us.
Saving God, you invite the widow to cease her weeping out of love and compassion. In the midst of our weeping come to us so that we might be comforted and know you have provided a hopeful future for us and those we trust to you. In your life, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Luke 7:11-17 (NRSV)
11 Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him.
12 As 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.
13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, "Do not weep."
14 Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, rise!"
15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
16 Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen among us!" and "God has looked favorably on his people!"
17 This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.