Something that stood out for me in Acts 6 was the importance of the distribution of the food for the widows in the congregation. Clearly throughout the Old Testament, the caring for of orphans, widows, and poor is extremely important. Built in to God’s law were prescriptions that would specifically allow for the poor and powerless of the day to be cared for by the people of God.
In Acts 6, the issue of growth begins to cause internal struggles, as some people were being ‘overlooked’ in the daily distribution.
Now in thosedays, when the disciples were growing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jewsagainst the native Hebraic Jews,because their widowswere being overlookedin the daily distribution of food.
It’s such a critical issue, that it goes to the Twelve, who choose to appoint seven men “full of the Spirit and wisdom” to take care of this task. What is interesting is that the distribution of the food, and the ministry of the word, that the Apostles were called to are treated as equally important. Without the caring for of the orphans and widows, the ministry of the word wasn’t fruitful.
Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world
Another point I found intriguing was that the greek words behind ‘distribution’ and ‘ministry’ are exactly the same (diakonos, where we get ‘deacon’) and is means to serve, or do the will of another.
So whether I serve up hot dogs and hamburgers at a youth camp, or preach a Sunday sermon, it’s all ministry, and it’s all just as important. I love that Jesus set the ultimate example for us by washing feet, because the son of man came to serve, not to be served. So too I need to learn better the art of serving others.