Reflection on the Widow of Nain
Luke 7:11-17

The loss of a loved one if you have experienced it can be a dark, isolated lonely place. It can take time to heal and come to terms with and sometimes people never come to terms with the loss of a loved one.

This woman had already lost her husband. We, are not, told, when, we are not told how, and we are not told how soon, after the loss of her husband, she lost her son. What we do know is when she encounters Jesus; it is a life-changing event. Surprisingly, from the narrative it even seems that she was not actually seeking God. It is God in Jesus who breaks into her life, because, he is filled, with love and compassion for her in her situation.

We are, not even told, how the event changed her except of course she is given back, for a period, of time; the son who she thought was dead. However, you can imagine her thankfulness, gratitude, love and commitment for Jesus after this life-changing event.

However, how does this passage speak to us today?

1) Jesus clearly demonstrates that God is deeply concerned about out grief and pain, identifies with it and will be involved in it even if we do not understand how. If you are experiencing pain, grief, isolation at this time, take hold of the truth that God (Emmanuel) is with you in your pain, isolation and grief.

2) The young son was, given back to the widow not for his own sake but for his mother’s sake. When God touches us and breaks in, it is not for us to store selfishly that healing touch or blessing but to share it with others in the service of God.

3) It is ok to grieve the loss of loved ones. Grief does not stop at the end of the funeral service. It is,a process, that, needs to be worked through. Although we as Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead it does not mean we are immune from the emotions of loss, pain and even anger. Therefore, if you are in a dark place of grief, pain, confusion or anger whether it be for the loss of a loved one, a close friend, a church member or a situational loss such as losing time with loved one because of isolation in the current Covid crisis it is ok. You need to mourn, you need to be honest about your feelings and emotions, and you need to work through them, with the help of God and others if that is right for you.

Remember the God we worship and affirm is the light of the world, the lord of life, conqueror of death and sin

As you think about this passage through this week, take into your heart and mind the words Jesus himself spoke:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die".
(John 11:25-26)

- Ian