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Revival

Luke 7:11-17

The Rev. Jon Roberts

5 June

2016

Calvary Episcopal Church

Indian Rocks Beach, FL

11 Soon afterward[a] he went to a city called Na′in, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17 And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

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“The Life of Christ” by James Jacques Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902

A woman from Nain
was in great pain
because her son had died.
After Jesus’ arrival
there was a revival
and then the mother cried.[1]

It’s pretty amazing how only a mother can cry out of pain in one moment, then out of joy the next. What makes her cry is typically the unexpected miracles in life.

Speaking of things expected, a man from Maine, his name was Brian, walked into work and saw his coworker in pain. “Hey what’s wrong buddy?” His friend looked up with a forlorn expression on his face. “You remember last month how my grandmothers’ sister died and left me $2,000?” “Yes,” said Brian nodding his head. “And you remember how the month before that her brother died and left me $5,000?” “Yes,” said Brian nodding his head. “Well this month is almost over,” said the coworker with a wave of his hand, “and….nothing!”

We should not expect so much from death. The Anglican, French artist, James Jacques Joseph Tissot shows the woman from Nain in his painting clutching her face in astonishment as her son, prepared for burial was being carried to the grave. Mummified on the stretcher, he is being carried through the city gate out to the field. Hundreds of people are all around when Jesus arrives on the scene. He turns to the mother and says, “Do not cry.” He then turns to touch the bier and her son rises up to meet Jesus and talk to him. It is a story of revival that falls under the category of the miraculous.

The revival of miracles is always unexpected and so necessary. Look at St. Paul’s life. In his previous life, he was under a lot of pain because he persecuted Christians. He put them to death. He felt that they were blaspheming God. They were responsible for the destruction of the Temple. They were disrespectful of tradition. But inside, Paul was in great pain. He was dying. Then, Jesus arrived in his life, and everything changed. He spoke about his previous life and could relate to the dead son of the mother in our Gospel. He was bound up. He was dead inside.

This is our application today. When you expect the wrong things to fix your problems then you’re going to remain in pain. Perhaps we should let them go. Maybe God has something better in store. If you are like the mother, suffering from loss, turn your worries over to Jesus. If you are like the son, dead within, be ready for when Jesus makes an unexpected visit. Jesus has the power to turn our tears out of pain into tears of joy because we never saw it coming. When Jesus arrives in your life it is always a miracle and there is always a need of revival.

[1] The Rev. Jon Roberts
[2] Luke 7:7-17
[3] Galatians 1:11-24

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