Now Is The Time Lent Study

Weeping Spends the Night - Reflections - 6-1-16

 Texts for Sunday June 5, 2016
 Third Sunday after  Pentecost

 1 Kings 17:17-24
 Psalm 30
 Galatians 1:11-24
 Luke 7:11-17

I have heard from bereaved parents that one of the worst losses to endure is the loss of a child. It doesn’t seem to matter whether we are talking infant (even miscarriage) or adult, the pain appears unbearable; many parents never recover from the loss. 

The texts from 1 Kings and from Luke this week speak to very human moments describing a mother’s pain in the loss of a child. And in context, widows in those ancient societies often had no standing without a male - father, husband, son, brother. So, the loss is economic as well. But I suspect the heart loss is much larger.

The widow in the Kings text asks the always present and always unanswerable questions “Why?” and “What does God have against me?” People like me have been taught that saying less is more in such situations. Presence is the main thing that one can offer. In Luke, “Jesus had compassion for her”. Compassion is that feeling/bearing/sharing the pain of the loss. One thought that helps me is that God, too, has borne the loss of child. God is fully present to the one in pain…..and I can be the “flesh” part of that presence. 

But still, I have to say that both texts make me ask: what about all those mothers who have lost children when there was no prophet or no Jesus around to bring them back?  

I read a wonderful blog (that brought tears to my eyes) by Janet Hunt in which she talks about the small ways each of us can “restore” the loved one to the grieving one. Rather than trying to summarize it, I encourage you to read it.

Then think about your experiences in trying to be present with someone in grief, or your own experiences in grief. What Good News do these texts offer? 

For more ways to reflect on these texts, see the G.I.F.T. post for Sunday June 5.

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

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Iowa City, IA 52245