Sunday, June 6, 2010
Do Not Weep
Soon after healing the centurion's slave, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 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. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, "Do not weep." Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, rise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 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!" This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country. Luke 7:11-17
I try to imagine the scene on the street. A young man is being carried out on a bier, surely dead and ready for the open grave already dug or a tomb already unsealed. The thoughts of witnessing such A sight as the dead coming to life would frighten me and I would high tail out of there. A miracle yes, a scene from a scary movie, yes, also. We all want to believe in miracles and God's power to change what is dead. We weep for those we have lost and sometimes wonder whether God is hearing our prayers. And yet God's power, the healing and restoration of the world (and of each of us) is active and alive. God's compassion is still changing lives and their courses, still restoring lives and renewing love. God's love is active in communities small and large. The one's willing to wipe their tears and expect God's miraculous love despite the most desperate of circumstances.
I have three wonderful daughters and had three sisters. Among us we have shed many tears. We weep at movies and when we are angry, when we are afraid and when we are in love. Tears flow with joy at new life and family gatherings. And sometimes our tears, driven by despair can cloud our vision and keep us from seeing the miracles of God's love right in from of us. My Dad used to sing this little song in a very corny Scottish accent. "Cheer up ye saints of God, there's nothing to worry about, nothing to make you feel afraid, nothing to make you doubt. Remember Jesus never fails and why not trust him and shout. You'll be sorry you worried at all tomorrow morning!"
Today, I want to try to set aside the worry and doubt and believe that miracles of changed lives and hearts are right here, in our midst today. I want to greet each person as a possibility rather than a destination. May God grant us all the power to wipe away our tears and be the hands and hearts of God's miracles here on earth.