Watching for the Morning of June 5, 2016
The Third Sunday after Pentecost:
Proper 5 / Lectionary 10
We said last week that “the festal season may be over but the festal age is at hand,” meaning that though the liturgically richer Sundays from Advent through Pentecost are over, Easter has dawned for all creation. The reign of God is at hand, the grave is open and the Spirit given. The grace and mercy, healing and life of the age to come is at work in us and among us now.
We see the fruit of God’s reign again this week as the life of a widow is restored through the raising of her son. The realm of life has broken into this realm of death. But this is nothing new to God; the scripture reverberates with God’s life-giving. At Elijah’s intercession, life is restored to the son of the widow of Zarephath. The poet sings of God’s restoring mercy in delivering him from death’s door. And Paul gives his testimony how he was turned from a life that, in his zeal, brought death as he persecuted the followers of Jesus and was given a message that gave life to all – a message that does not come any human authority but from an encounter with the crucified but risen Lord.
The reign of God is present in this Jesus as the sick are healed, sinners forgiven, and life restored. The festal age is come. As the crowd will say in response to this stunning act, “God has visited his people!”RSV so we exult with the psalmist:
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. (Psalm 30:11)
The Prayer for June 5, 2016
you have not dealt with us
according to our sin and brokenness
but out of your great compassion.
As you restored the life of the widow and her son,
be at work within and among us
to restore us to the fullness of life in you;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Texts for June 5, 2016
First Reading: 1 Kings 17:17-24
“He stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried out to the Lord, ‘O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.’” – Elijah’s plea for the life of the child of the widow of Zarephath is granted.
Psalmody: Psalm 30
“O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.” – The psalmist praises God for his healing from an illness that brought him near to death.
Second Reading: Galatians 1:11-24
“I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin.” – Paul recounts the story of his life, declaring that the message he brought to the Galatians was not rooted in human authority but his encounter with the risen Lord.
Gospel: Luke 7:11-17
“Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain.” – Following his encounter with the Centurion in Capernaum, Jesus meets a funeral procession and restores the life of a widow’s son.