Table of Duties
CERTAIN PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE FOR VARIOUS HOLY ORDERS AND POSITIONS, ADMONISHING THEM ABOUT THEIR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
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 Tim. 5:5-6]
In a 1528 sermon on this passage from 1 Timothy, Luther clarifies that “all alone” means “that a person has no one to care for them and is alone.” Such a widow has no husband to provide and defend her. But she has her spiritual Bridegroom, the Lord Christ. The encouragement is therefore to trust all the more in Him. This trust in Christ bears the fruit of continuing, fervent supplications and prayers, “night and day,” not just for her own needs, but for her family, fellow Christians, neighbors, community, the world.
This admonition to widows to avoid self-indulgence but to pray fervently with all her hope on God and His promises in Christ, are of course one with the final and summary words that follow under, “To Everyone”: “Love you neighbor as yourself,” and that “…supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”