March 1, 2023
Today’s Reading: Luther’s Small Catechism – Table of Duties To: Widows
Daily Lectionary: Gen. 8:13-9:17, Mark 3:20-35
She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. (1 Timothy 5:5-6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. For the last few centuries, the human lifespan has grown longer and longer. Even so, women still tend to live longer than men, as has been the case for most of history. Whether it was because of war or other more dangerous occupations, wives have outlived their husbands, regardless of nationality.
This leaves a pretty consistent group of widows in our world, many of whom need care and assistance as time passes and they age. St. Paul’s words to the young pastor Timothy might seem to be a bit harsh, especially if we think about how we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
But these words are both words of love and warning from St. Paul. Sometimes, widows will remarry after the death of their husbands; often, they will not. Losing that life-partner, that one to whom they were tied in the bonds of marriage, can be a very difficult and unsettling experience. Sometimes they aren’t sure of their place in the world once the “other half” of their lives has died.
How should we love these women, then? And how should they see their lives moving forward in this world? According to St. Paul, should these women find themselves all alone, with no one else to care for them, they should set their hope and focus on their Lord and God, who will sustain them.
Should they forget that the Lord cares for them—even in their grief—and they go forth trying to live a life that fills a void that only their Loving Father can fill, this rejection of His mercy and grace is a terrible thing; rendering them dead inside, even though they may seem vibrant and alive.
These are the times when we can extend a hand of love to them, being that one who loves them even when they might feel alone. Jesus’s Life, Death, and Resurrection was for them, just as it was for us, and they might need the reminder that their loving God has not forgotten them.
As you can, be Jesus for those around you, even the widows of your church. They need to hear that Jesus loves them just as much as you do, and your love for them might be the perfect antidote in this season of penitence and remembrance that helps them rejoice that Jesus is for them, as he is for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Visit, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep all harm and danger far from them. Grant that we may dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, sharing eternally in Your blessings; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Collect for Home and Family)
-Pastor Duane Bamsch is the Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley, CA and the President of Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.