1 Kings 17:17-24. This is part of the account of Elijah in the Old Testament. The context is in the midst of the drought brought upon the people as punishment for turning from the Lord. As the drought intensified, Elijah was told to go to a widow of Zarephath in Sidon. He asked her for a small amount of food. The widow said that she only had enough for one meal for herself and her son; when that was gone, they would then starve to death. Elijah again asked for some food, telling her that the Lord would provide for them. She made a small loaf of bread for Elijah, and the Lord miraculously provided the flour they needed each day.
Elijah stayed in a room on the roof of the house. During those days, the son of the widow died, the account in today’s reading. Notice that the widow thought that the death of her son was punishment for her sins, but Elijah never says so; instead Elijah prays to the Lord to restore the child’s life, which the Lord does. Notice the response of the widow: she gives glory to God by proclaiming that Elijah is a true prophet of the Lord.
Watch how a similar thing happens in the Gospel.
Lord God almighty, we give You thanks and praise that You provide for all of our needs, including, and especially, the need to life through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Psalm 30. This is a wonderful psalm of praise. David, the author, faced death. In his need he turned to the Lord, Who graciously protected him from his enemies who sought to kill him. David’s response? Praise! Let us give thanks and praise to God for His mercy and steadfast love.
All praise and thanks to You, O Lord, for all of Your blessings to us, especially that You give us life through Jesus. Amen.
Galatians 1:11-24. This reading continues reading through most of Galatians. Notice the autobiographical nature of this reading, the apostle Paul recounts what he was like before Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus, and then the difference that Jesus has made in his life, empowering him to proclaim the only true Gospel of Jesus, the message taught to him by Jesus Himself.
Does the Gospel of Jesus change your life each day? Does the Good News of Jesus make you new each day? Is He your proclamation? Do others glorify God because of your witness for Him?
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank and praise You for calling Saul of Tarsus to follow You and making him to be the apostle Paul. We thank you for his witness which we can still read today in the words of the Bible. Like you did with Paul, make us new every day, trusting in Your grace and mercy. And give us boldness to proclaim You by words and actions so that others will glorify You. Amen.
Luke 7:11-17. Read again the First Reading from 1 Kings 17:17-24. In this Gospel we see another widow who is bereaved of husband and now her only son. This woman is in a terrible situation; she has no one to care for her and protect her; she is desperate. At the height of her grief, as the funeral procession is going to the cemetery, Jesus is coming into the town. Seeing the hopeless and desperate situation, Jesus stopped the proceedings, and by the power of His word restored the young man to life, giving him back to his mother. Oh the joy she felt! God is gracious! Through Jesus we also have life, life in this world, and life in the world to come. Let us give glory to God!
Almighty God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in You alone is life! We thank and praise You for the life we have, life in this world, and life with You forever. Let us always give You glory! Amen.