But there is hope. I have noticed an increase in the receptiveness of people when it comes to adoption, even older child adoption. God is changing hearts and showing people what I seem to have missed for years and that is that, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
You know, people all over the world say, "Religion is the cause of the worlds problems."
What if we as Christians truly followed this verse, how would the world view 'religion'? How would the world change? If Christians truly took care all of the orphans and widows in this world...I mean food, housing, clothing, medical care, spiritual help, love, friendship...true sacrifice on our part kind of care...what would happen in our world? Have you ever thought about it that way? How do you think the world would view Christians and Christianity then?
But this is what Jesus expects of us. It's not a suggestion or just a good idea.
You want to have pure and faultless religion in the eyes of God? The answer is simple. Then look after the orphans and widows and keep yourself from being polluted by the world.
The other verses that always come to my mind when it comes to orphans is Mark 12:30-31 which says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater that these."
Jesus said this after being asked by one of the teachers of the law, which is the most important commandment?
What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? I try to teach my kids about this all the time. I ask them in age appropriate ways, "If you see your neighbor starving, or unclothed, or unmedicated or without a home and you do nothing, is that love? If you see a student without a friend, is that love?"
Today, the little boys and I are filling a Christmas box for a child who would not otherwise receive a Christmas gift this year. I asked the boys at the breakfast table this morning, "When you were in Ethiopia, did you ever get a Christmas gift?" Mihiretu said, "No."
This is a simple way to begin teaching young children how to love their neighbor as themselves. Mihiretu "gets" this on a personal level. He "gets" how much it will mean to a child who has never received a gift to get one this year. He never had a gift before he joined our family and he remembers this. It's a great start for a young child to learn to care for others.
So how would the world change if we loved God first with all we have and love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves?
It would turn it upside down...that's what would happen.
What role can you play in turning the world upside down? Pray and earnestly ask God and He will show you.