February 6, 2019·Elizabeth Ewens
Over the holidays, I participated in a couple of funerals and memorial services. I met a couple of women that are now widows. One sweet widow was married over 50 years to the love of her life. Yet, serving her through those days of planning, I was the one who was blessed by her unshakable faith in God. How different her life is now. I could not shake the knowledge that God wants us to take care of our widows.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:27
Then, I was asked to write about today’s Pause Bible reading – Acts 6. I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Acts 6:1-7, The Choosing of the Seven
In those days, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So, the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also, Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
So, the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Back in the day, the disciples needed to make sure the widows that needed food were taken care of. But they knew they could not care for them and continue to give their attention to the Word and prayer to lead the disciples. So, they appointed men to give attention to the widows.
This got me thinking: What can we do at The Church On The Way to help widows that have no family to care for them? When I shared this thought with a few friends at lunch one day, I was so blessed by their responses. They offered to help with the resources they had: repairing things around the house, how to balance a checkbook, and helping with auto body repairs. We can do this!
If you would be willing to help, let us know. We are putting together a list of resources and people that would be willing to help a widow by whatever need arises that you can help meet. Can you pick up food on a Wednesday afternoon at our Food Distribution and deliver it to a widow? Can you help a widow clean their house, box up their spouse’s clothes, organize bills?
Email me. We will compile the list of resources. If you would be willing to help make the connections between widows and those who could help, that would be great.
This is Community Life at The Church On The Way, taking care of our widows.
Pastor Elizabeth Ewens