November 3, 2017

Learn to Do Good

November 3, 2017


Isaiah 1:17

This week’s sermon text: Romans 16:3-16

Our reading for today is one short verse: “learn to do good; seek justice; rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” In ancient times orphans and widows were among the most vulnerable members of society. Without a male head of household to provide for them and protect them, they were often neglected and forgotten, if not actively taken advantage of.

In spite of many advances in opportunities for women in our society, women and children are still often in poverty. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “women’s poverty rates were substantially above the poverty rate for men in 2015. More than one in eight women – more than 16.9 million – and nearly one in five children – more than 14.5 million – lived in poverty in 2015. More than half of all poor children lived in families headed by women.

Women were 35 percent more likely to live in poverty than men.”
Clearly, Isaiah’s call to protect widows and children in the 7th century BC is still relevant to us today. From providing foster care to supporting fair wages for female workers, there are a myriad of ways to live out your faith in defending orphans and widows. As Isaiah said at the beginning of this verse, let us “learn to do good.”


  • What are some ways you can “defend the orphan and plead for the widow”?
  • What do you think of Isaiah’s assertion that we should “learn to do good” (v. 17)?
  • Is doing good something one learns or is it something we’re born knowing how to do? Why?


  • Are there any kids at your school who live with someone other than their parents?
  • How could you show kindness to them?
  • Does your family know any older people who live alone? How might your family help them?


Heavenly Father, you have a special place in your heart for the weak and the defenseless. Open our eyes to those around us who need someone to advocate for them. Amen.