The Deacon’s Calling
God is not only concerned for our souls but also for our bodies. One way this is manifest is in His being the defender of orphans and widows, One who cares for the poor. The Old Testament is filled with civil laws related to the care of the poor, the sojourner, and the bondservant. For example, the edge of a field could not be harvested but was to be left for the poor to glean. There was also a collection box in God's temple where alms were given to care for the poor, which was collected and distributed by the priests. This practice was replicated on a local level in the synagogues, where "almoners" collected alms and distributed them among God's people. Under the new covenant, this task has been given to "deacons", the root of which office is found in Acts 6:1-7. Though individual Christians are called to show mercy toward one another, the deacons do this officially, in order that no one in the church is overlooked and that all sorts of tangible needs are lovingly met. As such, they represent Christ's Priestly office to us, caring for us in our brokenness and distress.