Sermons

Summary: I break down these widows into two different categories: 1- The over sixty servers 2- The younger idlers

INTRO.- One of life’s difficulties is losing loved ones. And it seems like men generally die before women, which makes the wife a widow.

ILL.- I read this note about Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late Teddy Kennedy who passed away Aug. 25, 2009. (NEWSER) – All agree that Vicki Kennedy turned around husband Ted’s life, but there is little consensus on where the 55-year-old widow will go from here, Politico reports. “All this stuff about her going to the Senate is completely wrong,” says longtime family adviser (and speechwriter) Bob Shrum. Indeed, Mrs. Kennedy has told friends she has no interest in her late husband’s seat, but that's done little to dampen speculation. "She’s the logical choice,” says another insider.

“She knows the issues well, and she could carry the torch for Teddy on the health care issue,” says the former aide. “She would complete his mission.” That Mrs. Kennedy is prepared for the job is in no doubt, as she was as integral to the senator’s political life as she was to his personal one, something of a rarity for a Kennedy spouse. Senate or no, a friend says, “my guess is that she is happy to carry on Teddy’s legacy in other ways.”

Vicki and Ted Kennedy were married 17 years beginning in 1992. And what is she going to do now? Well, obviously, she probably won’t want for money, but she may be very lonely like most widows. And she obviously loved Ted so there will be a certain void in her life. She’s young enough that she might want to marry again and she could certainly go to work if she wanted. And work is always good. It’s good for the mind and the body.

ILL.-Arlene L., Kankakee, IL - “I’ve been widowed twice: the first time when I was 27 and had a one-year-old son. Three years later I remarried, and after 27 years, he died. I’ve now been widowed 11 years. The death of my second husband was harder because we spent so many years together. Working has helped.”

Our text deals with widows. I call it the “Widows’ List” for lack of a better title.

ILL.- Someone wrote these great words about widows in an article I found on the internet: Today is Sunday and it's now time to think about you widows. YOU are very special people. YOU have suffered in unique, troubling ways. But all of history reserves a special place for the widow. In the Old Testament account of Elijah the prophet he happened upon a widow and asked for a small cake that he might have something to eat. This nameless widow was poor and had little in her jar and jug-little floor and less oil. But she did what Elijah asked and she was rewarded.

Secondly, we have the story of Jesus who observed wealthy people contributing a lot of money to the synagogue. But then he sees a poor widow put in what she had. The verdict is severe: it's not how much you have to give, but how much you give from what you have. We can all appreciate this. Those who have much are often too afraid to give tell they have little. But this small widow gave most if not all she had. Being generous, he praised her acts while condemning the self-important. Widows are wonderful examples.

Bible Commentator Matthew Henry wrote: Directions are here given concerning the taking of widows into the number of those who were employed by the church and had maintenance from the church.

Apparently, in the early church some widows were taken in by the church and cared for. They were also given work to do. Paul gives us some clarification about these widows.

PROP.- I break down these widows into two different categories:

1- The over sixty servers

2- The younger idlers

I. THE OVER SIXTY SERVERS

9No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

Wow! This almost sounds like qualifications similar to what we have for elders and deacons recorded in I Timothy 3. Are there widows that fit these qualifications? Why, of course.

- Over sixty

- faithful to her husband

- well known for her good deeds

- bringing up children (properly training and discipline)

And of course, that in those days the raising of children was primarily the responsibility of the mothers because they never worked outside the house, not in the sense that we think of today. (Man works from sun to sun but woman’s work is never done.)

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