James 1:27 ESV
27 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.
As Christians, we are called to help people who are in need. When we see someone struggling, we should think about what we can do to help. Matthew 25:34-36 says this... 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Being humans, we are social creatures. We are meant to comfort one another and help each other in times of pain or affliction. Jesus is clear when he says he wants us to be there to help those who are in needs, our neighbors as Jesus would refer to them. This term, neighbor, elicits a feeling of closeness with others. Jesus tells a parable in the Gospel of Luke about the man who was robbed and beaten on the way to Jerusalem (Luke 10:30). Several people walked by the man before one finally stopped to help. He bandaged his wounds and took care of him. According to Jesus, the man who stopped was a neighbor to the man who was robbed (Luke 10:36).
Being part of a broken world, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes we feel isolated even when we are surrounded by people. The “stain” from the world causes a diversion away from the connections we are meant to have. Our eyes are distracted away from those who are in need or in pain. Ignoring the pain in this world only causes even more pain and neglect, creating a vicious cycle.
When we are saved, and called to live as Christ, we can live a life unstained from this world like James 1:27 describes. We can be fully present to the people in need around us and truly be a neighbor.
We can be the light of the world that Matthew 5:14-16 describes... 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Even small acts of kindness can change someone’s day. I pray that we can be fully present today to the opportunities we have to be a neighbor to others.
Hebrews 13:2 ESV
2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.