Jesus restores a young man to his mother and community. He moves in close, touching the bier that carries the son. His action causes the bearers to stop, to stand still. We can then imagine Jesus leaning in close, whispering, “Young man, I say to you, rise.” Consider the pause before the dead man sits up and speaks. What were his first words and to whom? This episode invites us into a world of wonder.
Can we identify with the son in our need for restoration from places of death and darkness, places where we feel powerless to move? Can we feel the warmth of the divine hand where we lie lifeless; hear the strong words whispered into the deep places of our soul to arise, to sit up, and to return to our families and lives? Can we imagine speaking from that transformational experience? What would we say?
In what ways do we identify with those in the gathered community who witness God’s presence with people we love, people who experience places of deadness in their lives? We grieve our helplessness to restore them. Are we like the bearers of the bier, carrying our loved ones to the gate at the borders of our community? Let us sense God’s presence coming toward us. Let us stop and stand still as words of life are spoken.
Maybe it’s when we are able to still ourselves and hear Christ’s words of life that the narrative in verse 17 comes to life in our time. We can only tell if we have heard; we can only share if we have had an experience of Christ’s presence in our lives. We are the channels through which the news of Christ will spread throughout our community—yes, and even throughout the world.

God, we thank you for reminding us that Jesus brings life from death, that he heals our grief and insecurity as well as that of all humanity. Amen.

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