…if you open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted, your light will shine in the darkness, and your gloom will be like the noon (Isaiah 58:10, Common English Bible).
I can’t say I have ever made this resolution, nor have I actually known anyone who has made helping others or volunteering a New Year’s resolution. I have heard people, during Lent, commit to performing random acts of kindness but I don’t see them as the same thing.
Perhaps that is because most of the people I know are very giving folks. They are quite willing to give of their time to benefit others. I think back to this past October to a group of people in my church who gave up two days of their time, some more than that, in order to prepare and serve the teachers of our school district. In a previous church they got up and were at the school at 5:00 AM to prepare and serve teachers breakfast. Another church served close to 100 children by providing Christmas gifts to needy families. A friend raises money to buy water filters, then forms mission teams to go to Haiti and teach families the importance of drinking clean water and then gives them a way. The list could go on and on.
I always feel blessed when I see these activities. I feel even more blessed when I am part of the work. I know others feel the same. It is at least part of the reason these people continue to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Just this morning I was talking to a woman who has a couple of volunteer opportunities she participates in. She felt she wasn’t doing enough and didn’t really do anything to help. I would argue she is wrong. If not for her and people like her, lots of other people would have less to eat. She is a blessing to others because she serves others.
In our lesson today reminds us that when we help others, we are shinning our lights into the world. For people of faith in Isaiah’s day, it was a dark world. It still is. When we help, our light shines in the world. We make a difference for them and we make a difference for ourselves.
I have long believed everyone should have at least three ministries. The first they do for their community, the second for their church and third for the world. Sometimes these ideas may overlap and that’s OK. It’s OK to go with a church mission team to take those water filters to Haiti and train the people who will be using them It is both service for the local church and for the world.
Make no mistake, when you serve you are making a difference. In my secretary’s office hangs a wall decoration. I have also seen it as a Facebook meme. It says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” When we do that, we serve others, we volunteer.’
In what ways do you serve others?
Have a blessed day in the Lord,
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved