– The True God who inhabits sacred space
is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.
He makes a home for those who are alone.
He frees the prisoners and leads them to prosper.
Yet those who rebel against Him live in the barren land without His blessings and prosperity. Psalm 68:5-6 (VOICE)
I’ve been preaching a series of sermons seeking to identify the heart of God. Who is God at his core? What are the values God holds most dearly?
In Psalm 68:5 God identifies himself as “Father to the fatherless”. The name “Father” is often attributed to God throughout Scripture. While it’s true that he is the Father, or Originator, of all humanity, God makes the point that the name is more than a description of origin. He is Father because it’s a role he willfully adopts.
Throughout history children are a footnote. They hold no power or influence. Those without parents have no natural defenders. Those without fathers struggle to find the provisions needed for life. Yet God describes Himself as “Father to the fatherless”. Father to the weakest, to the marginal, to the overlooked and under loved. God is Father.
All followers of Christ should attest to the goodness of God our Father. All of us were fatherless before Christ signed the adoption papers with his blood, called us his brothers (Hebrews 2:11), and through the Holy Spirit welcomed us into the family of God.
If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His children. You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy. Romans 8:14-15 (VOICE)
How close is fatherhood and adoption to God’s heart? According to James 1:27 “Real, true religion from God the Father’s perspective is about caring for the orphans and widows who suffer needlessly and resisting the evil influence of the world.” So how does the church reflect this aspect of our God?
Here’s a list I’ve compiled a short list of children’s homes and family services affiliated with various Churches of Christ both in the US and around the world. And the good news if you want to practice “Real, true religion…” is that they all accept donations! You can read a good overview of Church of Christ children’s homes HERE. (You can find a longer list HERE, but I have not verified the links.)
Children’s Homes in the US
- Alabama – Cullman: Childhaven
- Colorado – Longmont: Mountain States Children’s Home
- Florida – Mount Dora: Mount Dora Children’s Home
- Georgia – Valdosta: Raintree Village
- Indiana – Valparaiso: Shults-Lewis Child & Family Services
- Kentucky – Bowling Green: Potter Children’s Home
- Louisiana – Bossier City: Bossier KIDS
- New Mexico
- New York – Long Island: Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch
- Ohio – Pleasant Plain: Mid-Western Children’s Home
- South Carolina – Duncan: Southeastern Children’s Home
- Tennessee – Spring Hill (also other locations) – Tennessee Children’s Home
Adoption & Foster Care Agencies Supported by Churches of Christ
International Child Sponsorship and Orphanages
- Christian Relief Fund
- Hope for Haiti’s Children
- Orphan’s Lifeline
- Tanzania – Neema House
- Zambia – Kerin’s Kids
This list isn’t close to exhaustive, but indicative of the variety of ways Churches of Christ seek to serve God by loving the fatherless.