Pure and Undefiled Religion

Pure and undefiled religion is practiced by those who understand that God's way is something that should not only be talked about on Sunday mornings, but lived every day of the week.

I am always amazed at young people's capacity to serve others when given the chance. Our little youth group in Happy has been taking care of our widows' lawns for the past 17 summers. The program has become so popular that some of our married ladies have briefly contemplated doing away with their husbands in order to have their lawns done on a regular basis. Of course, they are just kidding... for the most part.

I like watching our kids, when they are serving. I like seeing young men learn how to take care of our older ladies. I like seeing the girls doing everything from the mowing, to the pulling of weeds and taking out the trashes. These are easy things for young people, but they are really big deals for our widows.

I have seen our young men come back to our widows' homes, even at times that we are not officially "serving". I have seen them do everything from installing swamp coolers and storm doors, to painting and anything else that just needed doing. Last year, two of our young men, about 13 years of age, were just roaming around town to see what else our widows needed doing.

Last night, one of the young men, not even 12, came up and asked if he could help mow another lawn that he knew we couldn't get to on our designated night. He knew that it needed doing and he knew that the 85 year old lady whose lawn needed attention couldn't do it - so he asked if he could help. Now, this won't make the evening news, but it seems to me much more newsworthy than most of the things that do.

The scriptures tell us that pure and undefiled religion is to help the widows and orphans in their distress. I know that there are many things that go into this type of religion, but I enjoy watching our kids and adults take a part, in their small way, in fulfilling God's design of the church taking care of those who need it most. It's good training, I think, and I have loved being trained by these young people with pure motives and very mature hearts.

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.   James 1:27, NIV