Her only son has died. Being a widow with no male in her family, she will now be dependent on others for care. She can only hope that others will provide for her. Relying on charity, she faces the burial of her child. She must feel hopeless and grief stricken, as she walks along with the funeral procession.
Then something extraordinary happens. Jesus comes to the bier, lays hands on it, and tells the young man to “rise.” Suddenly, what has been a march of death becomes a celebration of new life and hope for a new future.
After Easter Sunday has passed, we forget about the Resurrection message. But God’s work of bringing life from death continues throughout the year and throughout our lives. This scripture passage reminds us the resurrection, bringing life out of death, is God’s work. Whether we think of resurrection or resuscitation with regard to the widow’s son, new life happens. New life comes in the midst of our despair and hopelessness in surprising and wonderful ways.
God does not promise a life free from pain, sorrow, or death. Our faith does promise us that death is not the final word. God’s final word is resurrection, and god invites us to rise. New life awaits us.
God, help me to remember your resurrection power and to see when and where you are meeting me with new life and renewed hope. Amen.