In one, Elijah raises from the dead the son of the widow Zeraphath (and yes, I DID have to look up the spelling again, even though I JUST saw her name a few minutes ago) while Elijah is staying with them in the widow’s home. Elijah calls out to God, and then “stretches out” near the boy three times to heal him. It is strange but intimate little scene, with no witnesses, as far as we know.
The other resurrection story takes place in Nain (annnnd, got the spelling of THAT one right on the first try!), again with the son of a widow.
But this time, the miracle takes place out on the street, as the crowd that is following Jesus bumps right up against the crowd accompanying the widow.
I dont want to go all 9th grade English teacher-ish on you here, by asking “How does the storyteller use the setting – one so quiet, domestic and rather mysterious; the other very public, almost raucous and quite matter of fact – to set a tone in these stories?” And yet, the setting must have a purpose. If it matters to the original teller enough to make note of it, how does it matter to us? What point is being made? In our own lives, how do we respond differently to encounters with the Holy that happen in public vs those that happen in private?
Over in Galatians, Paul is trying to help the community pay attention to both the individual response to God, and the communal one, with mixed success.
Let us know what struck you about these readings or chime in about whatever direction you are heading. See you in the comments!