Pastor's Pen for 05/22/2018I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die. (1 Kings 17)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The widow knows what it means to suffer. Her husband is dead. Death is closing in on all sides. She is driven to despair. Hopeless. The curse of sin and death spreads to all peoples. The widow is preparing for the impending doom of the black hole of death. The Lord provided food where there was none. A miracle through the Word of God preached. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah. (1 Kings 17)

Is this only postponing the impending doom of the grave? Death consumes all in its path. The son of the woman became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. She said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” (1 Kings 17)

She has already buried her husband, and now she has to bury her son. Agony. Sorrow all around. What is there left to hope in? JESUS. The Word of God that preached into the darkness to bring life. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11) Elijah proclaims God's life-giving Word. “O LORD my God, let this child's life come into him again.” The LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. The life of the child came into him again, and he revived.

God's Word is LIFE. JESUS goes to the cross to battle your sin and death. As a fisherman baits a hook to catch the fish. The fish bites into the hook for his end. Jesus is on the hook for all our sin. Death comes and bites into Christ. Jesus breaks death’s teeth. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12) Jesus died in your place. He rose after a three day rest. The church gathers around our Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus each Sunday to worship Him. Each Sunday is a little Easter. Christ has Risen! He has Risen indeed!

Sinners gather around Christ. We come with our hurts. Struggles. Disappointments. We come with our weak sinful bodies. We come in FAITH, holding onto Christ’s Word. JESUS’ Word goes forth into your ears and heart. Truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5) The Word of God brings life everlasting to you. Death can harm you none.

The widow’s sorrow is gone. The joy and celebration of receiving her son back from the grave. Elijah said, “See, your son lives. “The woman said, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.”

How do you know that Christ’s Word is TRUE? Because JESUS has been raised from the dead. Believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4)

Great comfort and peace for you the Baptized Children of God. Living in God's promises. Hearing God's Word of life. If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6)

When you are sick. When death is stalking you. When your sins haunt you. Run to the living Word of God. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. (John 3) Rejoice in God's Word of life reigning in your ears and hearts forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Rev. Lance D. Berndt is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church ( in Omaha, NE.