MY FATHER’S BUSINESS, OUR MINISTRY
“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.“ – James 1:27 (ESV)
Many times we as Christians can fall into the trap of “ministry” or what we have perceived as ministry. We wait around for a pulpit, an acknowledgement, a profound encounter or revelation. Days turn into months, then years, and we find ourselves deeply unsatisfied and unfulfilled waiting for a break that will launch us into our ministry. Whether you have felt a “call” to ministry or not, James tells us that as Christians we are called to be doers of the word and not just hearers. He proceeds to declare that “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” The religion and ministry we have been called to is a useful way of life. It is pure and undefiled and filled with practical kindness –visiting the orphans and widows. We are to scrutinize our everyday lives, identify the orphans and widow present, love and serve them the way Christ has loved and served us.
What is it James is really calling us to? It is “to be about our Father’s business.” God is in the business of loving the orphans and the widows. So who is the orphan? The orphan could be as we would traditionally define—one without parents. Fatherlessness continues to be a growing problem in our society. We could also define an orphan as one without a spiritual Father. We are told in scripture that though we have ten thousand instructors, we have not many fathers. Will you step up and love these orphans as a father or a mother? Will your life and actions point these orphans to the path that leads to the only true Father? Also, who is the widow? A widow is one who has lost their spouse. Are we willing to invite the widows into our lives and serve them as family?
Pure religion. Real religion. Undefiled religion. Today, may we surrender our false concepts of ministry and submit to God’s—a life about our Fathers business. “God in His holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows” (Psalm 68:5).
Practical Application: Sit down and make a list of all the children you may know without one or both parents. Now make a list of those who have no spiritual fathers. Finally, list the widows in your midst who need companionship, food, repair work, cleaning. Make a concrete decision that you will meet at least one need on this list this week.