I’m working on the readings for 6 June (Revised Common Lectionary: 2nd Sunday after Pentecost Year C) which include 1 Kings 17:8-24 and Luke 7:11-17. The sons of two widows die; both are raised to life: one by Elijah and one by Jesus. And here they are presented in one set of readings. I started to worry that people might get the idea that this sort of thing is supposed to be the norm for Christians. In reality there were plenty of others in Elijah’s time who died in tragic circumstances and who were not raised to life. There were plenty of people in Jesus’ day, and in the period in between the two, and since.
It made me think of the lottery. The adverts we hear trumpet the winners. “Play to win,” we are told. “You, too, can be a winner.” But they don’t, of course, tell us about the millions of others who don’t win! Just the (few) winners.
In these readings, too, we only read about the “winners”. What do we say to the vast crowds whose loved ones have not been raised to life or saved from tragedy? What of those whose dreams ended in divorce and whose jobs are gone? We know God has many things to say to them as well.
Strength and compassion to those of you who will be wrestling with these passages and preparing a word from the Lord. If you have any comments, I’d love to hear from you. I’ll try to post what comes out of my wrestling. But you’ll probably have to wait until 6 June.