James 1; Jeremiah 21-22; Psalm 129
There is a theme throughout the Bible that is so easy to overlook on most occasions. There are times, though, that we have to work hard to overlook it. That theme is the call to care for those who can’t care for themselves. The Bible throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament calls on God’s people to care for widows and orphans. The Bible condemns Judah for failing to do so and, in fact, oppressing those who were helpless. In the book of James he puts it quite bluntly: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27) In those days, widows and orphans were especially vulnerable since women didn’t normally hold jobs. There were no orphanages or places to care for children without either parent and so they often depended on others to care for them. Today women tend to have their own careers. Today, there are ways that orphans are helped financially. Perhaps if we were to redefine the Biblical passage based on meaning we would recognize a call to help those single mothers who may not have learned the skills to support themselves. It may mean that we find ways to support those children who have never known their father. It also may mean more than writing a check to support them. If we don’t find ways to welcome them spiritually, to let them be part of our community, or help them embrace their position in God’s creation, we won’t have dealt with them at all the levels God loves and cares for them. If we are to be God’s hands and feet, the restoration process has to be based on the whole person, not just their financial needs.
Lord, it’s so easy to overlook people in need. It’s so easy to leave their financial needs to the government. You have called me to minister to people in need – not with a check, but with all of my being. Give me the strength to show your love and minister to people at all points of their needs.