Orphan Sunday Service
(No Audio available)
Orphanages were not part of God's designed. God does not want orphans to be orphans. What all children need is the family that God designed them to have. They need the love of a parents that God meant for them to have. It is a tragedy beyond sadness to think that there are children who do not have the care and love that they each so desperately need; someone to help them know how valuable and special they are...and someone help them know the love of Christ.
The God of the Bible has displayed a unique love for the vulnerable or the family-less in the world.
Each of these stories show the compassion and love that Jesus has for the broken people and broken families. Many of these people would have been abandoned by their family members because of their sin or because of their sickness, or even because the family believed they were under a curse; yet the Love of Jesus does not count the cost of crossing those boundaries. His love knows no bounds, and reaches out with a particular passion for those who have been abandoned and left to themselves.
I had a conversation with a woman on my recent flight. She was from eastern Russia, known as Siberia. This naturally made me curious, and we had a very fascinating conversation. In the midst of the conversation I asked if people in eastern Russia were religious. She spoke like a good communist, referencing Karl Marx, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." But then she said that there have been "many evil things done in the name of religion." I did not disagree, I said, "You're right, there have been many evil things done by evil men in the name of Religion. There have also been many evil things done in the name of politics. This tell me that men, when given the opportunity to hold authority, and exert their will acts out the evil in their hearts. True Christianity does not allow it. Being changed by the Gospel means to begin to act in the will and love of Christ. We exalt him so that we cannot exalt ourselves. In Christ, all people are of equal value and deserving of equal treatment, love and grace." She thought for a moment and finally said, "You have given me a lot to think about. My husband and I always talk about what purpose religion could have for academic people. Now I see how religion can make everyone equal, from the academic to the venerable."
The world around us is watching how we love others. If we display a love like Jesus, then they are more likely to see that in Him they can find hope. The Gospel of Jesus has was a display of His unconditional love for the spiritually and the physically vulnerable.
1 John 4:7–12
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
Let Christians be the leading force in this world to love the vulnerable and the family-less. And let us take the teaching for James 1:27 seriously...
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.