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“And the younger women as sisters with all purity” This tends to also speak to sexual purity, in thought, word and deed We treat our daughters with a certain sinlessness and care
vs 3 honour (take care of) widows who are truly widows
Just how many widows were there in Ephesus, in the church? Well Nero has just come to power and took up the sport of Christian killing Apparently quite a few, a growing number that needed to be cared for
What was Ephesus like? Just like Canberra. It was rich in wealth and culture, and it’s inhabitants ran the risk of being hard harded It had a stadium (for Artemis, not the Raiders) and a constant flow of pilgrims (immigrants), A famous pagan cult, replete with temple prostitution Infamous magicians, art shows and exhibitions
I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that we should care for all those most vulnerable in our own society - the single mother, - the immigrant separated from their loved ones - The mentally handicapped falls into the same category of person as the widows of that day And they too are a growing number
Historian Leith Anderson says that house by house evangelism accounted for most of the growth of Christianity in the first 200 years. Most homes were timber tenaments without sewage When plague hit populations abandoned the quarter, leaving the sick, women and children Divorce and abandonment for sickness were very high
vs 4 “if a widow has children or grandchildren... let them first show godliness to their own household and make some return to their parents for this is pleasing in the sight of God”
Back to Leith Anderson. The only ones who really showed compassion and care for the situation were Christians. They took in the widow, the orphan, the sick and cared for them at their own risk and expense.
Charity starts at home. My parents are about to move to a retirement home (they’re over 80) at their own choice In my town, the nursing home is full of lonely, unvisited people in aged care.
vs 5 “true widows pray and have dedicated their lives to Christ”
vs 6 “self indulgent people are dead while they live”
A very good test of a person’s worthiness is whether they are living a self indulgent life Or a sanctified life
This is easier to examine after the fact – older people can look back at the extravagances of their own life Or indeed at the frivolity of youth… (more on this at the end)
TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD vs 8 “if anyone does not provide (pronoeo) for his relatives and especially members of his household he has denied his faith and is worse than an unbeliever” Perceive ahead of time, think beforehand, make allowance for, care for
Paul is targeting: layabouts (laziness), gossips (too much free time), freeloaders (using other’s), thieves (taking what belongs to others).
In it’s most basic and simple sense, this probably does mean making sure your family can eat And share what excess you might have Example – my abundance of vegetables (corn, berries, tomatoes, pumpkin, rhubarb)
It probably also includes being wise about your provision: “Seed for sowing and bread for eating” 2 Corinthians 9:10 Don’t eat your seed, don’t sow your bread Make plans for the future, otherwise you’ll live with regret.
I guess one thing I want to leave you with is… don’t live with regret Here is a wonderful song by Elton John and Charles Aznavour doing “Yesterday when I was young” Run the video…
Generation Next -Session 10
CHURCH IN RELATIONSHIP
1 TIMOTHY 5:1-9
Aboriginal view, Kenyan view, Quranic view
Christian view, modern family view...