As the name 127 Worldwide suggests, our work is founded in a correct interpretation of James 1:27.
“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.” James 1:27
In this video, Jason Johnson, Director of Church Ministry Initiatives with Christian Alliance for Orphans, gives an excellent explanation of what James 1:27 means and, in doing so, also lays the groundwork for 127 Worldwide’s ministry. Notice first that Jason describes the work of caring for orphans and widows as the purest expression of Christian faith. We wholeheartedly believe that this type of ministry demonstrates the gospel. As Jason Johnson puts it, God said to us: “I see you where you are and I’m coming after you!”, and the message of tending to the needs of the fatherless and husbandless proclaims the same.
127 Worldwide’s ministry philosophy incorporates many other passages of Scripture, but the baseline question “Why do any of this work to begin with?” is answered in James 1:27. We’ll continue to build upon this verse to show why partnering with the global church is our chosen means of expressing “pure and undefiled religion.” But first, let’s make sure we rightly understand what James is really saying.
- How did Jason Johnson’s interpretation of James 1:27 change or build upon your previous understanding?
- How can we be confident that James 1:27 applies to other marginalized communities: the impoverished, the vulnerable, the refugee?
- What does “visit” mean in your life? How are you currently “visiting” vulnerable people? And if you aren’t currently, how could you start evidencing “pure and undefiled religion” today?