v 3 Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.
The early Christian congregations knew nothing about social care provided by the State, but Jewish congregations, such as the local synagogues, were often alert to social needs amongst them. Certainly, a synagogue was not just a religious entity it was also a lively social unit that did offer some care to its vulnerable members. Paul sees that kind of social obligation continuing in the Christian churches he has planted and so urges the same approach on Timothy. Doubtless, widows with no family to help them would be among the most vulnerable.
Each generation and culture has tried to do the same, identifying who might be at risk in the prevailing circumstances. In the UK there is a substantial program of aid for those recognised as being vulnerable; in that respect our government tries to fulfil a genuine social role. It is often criticised for not doing enough, but at least there is some aid for the poorest in society.
The church – in its broadest sense – tries to identify pockets of need where the state either cannot or will not step in.
Where do you think the most need is in society at the moment?
Can each of us, as individuals, offer help where vulnerability is identified?
Is this something we might talk about in our Growth Groups and then plan some coordinated action?
Is it enough to just throw money at Charities and trust them to take action?