Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27.
I’m no expert on church dogma, whatever the religion or faith. But if I were asked whether a dogma or canon measures up to God’s truth its against this standard I’d measure my response. Now I’d expand the definition of those with an affliction to modern society, but keeping oneself unspotted from the world still is pretty much universal.
But today’s passage caused me to divert from my morning thought at the beach. One of my favorite jobs while I was on sabbatical was washing windows and the glass in the cafeteria. I took my time and somehow it brought me peace in a violent and turbulent world. It is surprising how simple and practical tasks enrich the fancy and the heart, and the action clears and deepens our values. In fact, I think until we find a calm and joy in the most mundane and develop a reverence for it, we miss out on an understanding of what is really right and important.
I used to laugh at how Suzy would go to great trouble to clean our house before the housekeeper arrived, but I’ve grown to understand that it was important to her to always have her own house in order before the her most important guest could enter. Give it thought this morning and identify a routine task that deserves your attention. Then as if you were performing it for the divine go about it with reverence and humility. You’ll be surprised how unspotted from the world your chore will make you.
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