On Wednesday, we had a new president inaugurated, and with that comes varying emotions depending on which side of the political spectrum you happen to be on — and if you are reading this, my …
On Wednesday, we had a new president inaugurated, and with that comes varying emotions depending on which side of the political spectrum you happen to be on — and if you are reading this, my assumption is that you lean more conservative.
With that in mind I’m sure some of our thoughts and emotions have gotten the best of us and I would like to look at the book of James, chapter one, to help us reset our focus. There we find in verse 27 the definition of what a Christian’s religion should be, as James adamantly declares, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
This definition is twofold; both, however, are an outward working of an inward faith, the first more public, the second being more personal, but both inseparable if we desire to have the biblical definition of a true and pure religion.
First, it is pointed out that we are to be taking care of the afflicted and, in particular, the fatherless and widowed — those who are at a disadvantage concerning material goods and often physical ability to support themselves from day to day.
Often when the subject comes up we think of faraway lands, Sarah McLachlan music and a convenient place to send money where the needs of those poor will be met through a reputable charity. I, however, propose that if we stop and look in our own backyard there are plenty who fit the definition of “fatherless and widowed.” They may not look like what we imagine, but I am sure the single mother would appreciate some help and the nice old lady (or even the not-so-nice ones) down the street could be visited more.
Secondly, the verse calls for a personal outworking of the faith we claim. Does our walk line up with the standard Christ has set? Are we truly in the world, but not of the world, or is it hard to tell? Both good questions to ask ourselves when we lay our heads on our pillows.
In short let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work, right here both in our own lives and in the lives of others being salt and light to our neighbors.
(Miles McNair is connections pastor of New Life Church of Powell, located at 185 S. Tower Blvd.)
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