So what will you do for the least of these?"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40
At Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, we celebrated Orphan Sunday with great intentionality and purpose. Mosaic's "Hand in Hand: Loving the Fatherless" Missional small group began planning some time ago for this special service. The testimonies of adoptive parents, an Orphan Sunday video presentation and a challenging sermon from my hubby Anthony all challenged the congregation to discover their calling to minister to orphans.
And we weren't alone on Sunday morning. Churches everywhere challenged their members to consider how they are personally called to "defend the cause of the fatherless" (Isaiah 1:17).
Now some of you might be scratching your head wondering, what is this adoption/foster care zealot saying? Is every Christian called by God to adopt or foster? Am I out of God's will if I never adopt or foster a child?
I'm so glad you asked. No, I do not believe we're all called to adopt or foster a child. However, I do believe that we are all called to take care of orphans. You see, I take James 1:27 quite literally:
"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."Now obviously, looking after orphans is not the only requirement if we want to be pure and faultless before our heavenly Father. Yet it is a very integral part of our calling; one that most Christians ignore their entire lifetimes.
Will you ignore the calling to look after orphans during your lifetime?
I believe the responsibility of every adult Christian is three-fold:
- Sincerely ask God if He would have you consider adoption or foster care.
- If you truly believe His answer is no, seek ways to minister to families that are adopting/fostering or preparing to do so. There are many ways to minister to these families: giving financial assistance for their adoption fees, offering babysitting so adoptive/foster parents can plan a date night, providing physical needs (children's clothing, meals, etc.), and of course, praying much for them.
- Actively pursue ministries and organizations that will put you face-to-face with the needs of orphans. There are countless organizations (local and international) that minister primarily to orphans. These ministries/organizations always need volunteers and financial gifts.
I'll leave you with a song that speaks of the Christian's adoption into the family of God. It is also a song that communicates God's heart for the almost 150 million precious orphans around the world. There are no orphans of God. Hallelujah!
Speaking the Truth in Love,