“Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.
Food For Thought:
This is one of the many healing stories found in the New Testament. In this story, we are told that Jesus saw a woman and had compassion on her. When I think about Jesus’ ministry, it is a ministry of compassion. He was always reaching out to those people on the fringes of society with compassion. I am a word nerd, I must admit. The etymology of the word compassion is an interesting one. It comes from the word com ― that means together and passion — to suffer. I like this understanding of the word because it means to suffer together. This shows the powerful message that in reaching out in compassion to another person, we are proclaiming that we will suffer together with another; we will bear the burdens of another. Think about one person that you could extend compassion to this week and reach out to them with a word of grace or an act of kindness.
Healing and compassionate God, your hands hold gently all creation; your touch brings life in the face of death, your love transforms destruction into grace. Touch our lives with your Spirit, bringing new life and hope, so that we may live and serve you with joy and praise. Amen.