Resurrection Stories: Profoundly Exciting or Deeply Disturbing?

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.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Resurrection Stories: Profoundly Exciting or Deeply Disturbing?

  1. Pingback: Elijah and the widow of Zarephath: A sermon | Wondering Preacher

  2. Pingback: Elijah and the widow of Zarephath: a prayer | Wondering Preacher

  3. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, Satellite Direct Tv

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  4. The crowds were always more interested in a genie in a bottle than a saviour from sin. John was clear though, “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

    The age might be different but the mentality of the crowds remain the same, “give us something sensational, something amazing, something we can say, ‘Ooooo, Aaaaah’ to. But don’t give us a sacrificial lamb, beaten and rejected, slain on a cross for the sin of man. That’s just too weird.”

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  5. Yes, praise the Lord for that!

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  6. I’ve never thought of comparing this to the lottery – that raises some interesting questions. And I agree with what I think you are saying – we Christians are sometimes guilty of misleading advertising.
    Fortunately life is more complex and Jesus has more to offer than the winner takes it all/win or lose/ scenario of gambling.
    Thanks!

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