Last night I scrolled through the pictures and profiles of the widows that we care for in Visakhapatnam. While doing so, my mind (and heart) made the leap to James 1:27, and I was reminded once again of the “pure and undefiled” religion that the church is called to embody. Jesus’ half-brother, James, paints a picture of piety that is proactive and engaged, that moves towards the suffering and brokenness of our world, rather than away from it. His knack for describing what a life of faith looks like must have made his older brother proud.
One of the great privileges of being a follower of Jesus is that we’re called to participate in God’s work in the world. As we join our King in caring for those who do not have the means to care for themselves, not only is God glorified, but we are aligning ourselves with an agenda that is sustained by the One David described as the “father of the fatherless and protector of widows.”
This morning I woke up with a heart full of gratitude, knowing that there are orphans and widows half a world away who are being loved and cared for because of James’ insistence that “religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” The stain of the world is the inability to give and live in sacrificial ways so that others might be reconciled to their Creator. But for those of us who are in Christ, that stain has been removed, and we have been set free to walk in love.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit and compelled by the love of a God who has sided with the weak and helpless, may we become resolute in our commitment to become practitioners of the kind of religion James describes, and in the process may those we’re called to serve see our good works and “give glory to [our] Father who is in heaven.”
Vision Nationals is committed to caring for orphans and widows in India. Your prayers and financial gifts make this possible.
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