Third Sunday after Pentecost (June 9, 2013)
Common Lectionary Readings:
I Kings 17:17-24; Psalm 30; Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17
This week we continued to wrap up loose ends in the MCC Amman office and introduced Carolyne and Gordon to MCC Jordan partners. On Monday we visited partners in Amman and on Tuesday we traveled to Irbid, Addasiyeh, Wadi Rayyan and Salt — all in the north of Jordan.
We also had a wonderful lunchtime discussion with Jordanian alumni of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and continued to receive meal invitations from friends.
The Common Lectionary readings this week are about second chances.
In both the Old Testament and Gospel readings widows lose their only sons to death, only to have them restored to life.
When a widow’s son becomes ill and dies, Elijah cries out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” (I Kings 17:21) The Lord answers Elijah’s prayer and Elijah “gave him to his mother” (v.23). Similarly, when the adult son of a widow in Nain dies, Jesus commands, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” (Luke 7:14). Immediately the man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus “gave him to his mother.” (v.15) What happy reunions these must have been!
David praise God who, at a time of disease and distress, healed him, restored him to life and brought up his soul from the Pit (Ps. 30:2-3).
In the Epistle reading, Paul recounts his former life of violently persecuting the church (Gal. 1:13). But through the grace of God, Paul is given a second chance to “proclaim the faith he once tried to destroy.” (v.23)
With all of our short-comings and the many mistakes we make as human beings, it comforting to know that we are loved by a God who gives us second chances — sometimes more than once!