Welcome to DAY 7 of our online Bible study on James!
— Read: James 1:26-27 —
I used to think orphans were simply people without parents. Characters like Harry Potter and Oliver Twist came to mind. Little dancers from the musical Annie came to mind too. Didn’t they all have happy endings?
When I married an orphan, my understanding changed.
Life isn’t about a happy endings. Life is about the journey.
And the journey without parents is hard. I never would have imagined how hard if I didn’t witness it for myself — every day, every year, at every family celebration, every holiday.
I remember our first Thanksgiving together. It was such a little thing. I had washed and peeled and boiled the potatoes. But when it came time to mash them, I couldn’t remember how much milk and butter to add. So I called my mom. From 400 miles away she told me how much milk and butter to use. I hung up the phone and poured the measured milk.
Across the room, however, I caught a brief expression. Myhusband didn’t see me. The room was filled with children scampering and uncles chattering, but I noticed, before it quickly masked over to the face everyone else recognizes. And I knew.
Some people don’t have a mom they can call about mashed potatoes. Some people can’t call home.
There are widows and orphans among us—in our schools and our churches, as well as orphanages overseas. If we gather in His name, yet fail to care for the widows and orphans in our midst, James says our religion—despite our other good works—is not acceptable in God’s sight.
God gets it. He really gets it.
This is why He commands in Scripture, over and over again, to care for widows and orphans (See Exodus 22:22, Deuteronomy 24:17-21, 27:19). My faith in God’s goodness is renewed by the compassion He shows and the compassion He commands because, nowadays, I get it too. The apostle Paul said, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV). The sting of death is real. But because of Christ, death is not an ending but a passageway.
— Diving Deeper —
Who are the widows and orphans in your community you could begin praying for today?
Share in the comments!