We don’t want anyone to be left behind! All must know the saving power of Jesus Christ. Today’s reading is really focused on widows, both old and young, with instruction on how best to handle them from a church context. But the passage also stresses how we are to relate to each other, to our families, etc.
Two things strike me today. First, our society today seems to be spreading apart, and families are no longer staying within the same community as was the pattern for decades. There are still places where this isn’t the case, but our children are now following the jobs, which often take them across the country. This passage is a reminder to us that family is important. We are called to care for family, lest we “deny our own faith.”
One of the things I really appreciate about the Mexican culture we have immersed ourselves in is that families are important. There is little moving away, unless it be by the ones with great ambition who have left to make a life in the United States. Even those children come back often and partake in family celebrations as if they had never left. Family taking care of family. We are seeing it firsthand like never before since moving to Mexico.
As for widows, the passage speaks of those old and alone, and also those still young with burning passion and friends and relatives around to support. It is those who are alone that we, as a church, are to care for. Again, in the area we have retired, I am surrounded by many older expat widows who have lost their husbands. They are a treasure and have so many wonderful stories to share. It would be easy to not include them in a couple get-together, but what joy and insight they share. By involving them, they are able to shine and feel loved.
What is this passage saying to you today? Is your family close or spread apart? If close, how do you stay close and connected? If apart, what do you do to stay connected? Sometimes when we’re close, it’s easy to take that for granted. When we’re far apart, there is even more motivation to stay in touch. How about in your church? Where to you see the need?
Let’s pray. Lord give me eyes to see those around me that are alone, widow or otherwise. Give me the love and compassion to reach out and make a difference for them, sharing your love and truth to keep them connected to you. Watch over my family as they are far from me, scattered here and there. Draw them closer to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.