Awake & Alive: 1 Timothy Reading Plan

Day 21

1 Timothy 5:9-10

9Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 1 Timothy 5:9-10

The nature of Paul’s instructions on widows in this epistle is debated. Part of the difficulty stems from translating specific word choices. Did Paul refer to the widows’ age for church service eligibility, or was he outlining a service they could provide?

Regardless, a more important message emerges. Paul emphasizes to Timothy (and the Ephesian church) that God’s family includes everyone in need of care, regardless of circumstance.

Widows in that era faced hardship and societal disregard. Yet, Paul instructs Timothy to care for them, highlighting the urgency of this call. This doesn’t negate the widows’ own call to live Gospel-transformed lives.

The listed qualifications likely reflect the outworking of spiritual gifts. Notably, Paul mentions “washed feet,” a powerful reminder that God equips believers for service within the local church, irrespective of earthly position. The Gospel fosters immense comfort and purpose through the connection believers share with the church and the ministry it inspires.

Which of our local partners do you think cares for the marginalized in our community? Would you like to volunteer with them? Check out the Outreach page.