This is the time of year when gratitude and kindness kick into high gear. Reports of kindness leading into Christmas abounds and so will our personal stories if we’re open. The fruit of godly actions and choices can happen in our backyards no matter where you live, age or vocation. Consider the flowing acts and ideas to spark inventive ways to serve others this Christmas!
Forgiving others and asking for forgiveness
We might not consider forgiveness as an act of service. And yet, it is! Forgiving unclogs our hearts and extends Christ’s love toward others. For transparency’s sake, this recently happened. At daycare drop off, I received the message that a health form was due. No biggie, but I was late —they thrusted the form in my hand while my toddler was having a fit of outrage going into class. I told them “I’m not a miracle worker”, struggling to assuage my kid. Needless to say, I felt bad and debated going into the office to apologize because I wanted to steam! Instead of rationalizing, I did. It brightened their morning despite my cantankerous mood. Forgiving and asking for forgiveness is never easy. Christmas Day 1914 there was a truce declared during World War I. German and British troops stopped fighting to sing Christmas carols! “Allied soldiers heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing,” reports History.com. If they can forgive, certainly we can put down our swords for the sake of humanity and forgiveness.
Praying for others
An 18-year-old in Lancaster City, Pa. created a plan to help people and to help increase her own faith, LancasterOnline reports. Brittany Fisher and her dad, Bert, created a “Prayer Request Box” mailbox to invite people in the community to request prayers and share stories. “We call it the ‘Hands and Feet of Jesus,’ ” he says. The prayer mailbox is used for testimonies as well. “Thank you for being so good to my family and I. Thank you for everything you blessed us with. I just want to ask that you bless our house, take away any evil spirits, never to let evil enter our door,” writes Tanisa and Aaron. Praying for others is a powerful gift that only costs us time. Let’s use it and offer it to others.
Spreading the Gospel
What started as an Easter program is fast becoming a nationwide movement of praise during Christmas season. “Nobody wants to take them down,” Lucas Hunt tells the Courier-Tribune. Over 250,000 signs have been purchased to spread the goodness of Christ all year long. “The bottom line is without God providing the people involved, all the help, that’s what made it work. In the end, it’s all God, a God thing.” Spreading the Gospel can be through a yard sign, a T-shirt or encouraging others through Christ. What ways can you spread the message of Jesus today?
Recently, the family attended an open house at the local police precinct and first responders. These men and women risk their lives and deal with dangers daily. This Christmas donate coffee packaged treats, send a gift basket, cook and deliver a meal or donate money to charities supporting support families of those lost on duty. There are many organizations who need you to be the feet of Jesus. How and where can you serve?
Make an effort to encourage one person daily
Encourage someone today. The driver that delivers Amazon packages, a teacher at your kid’s school or someone at the Starbucks drive-thru. Think of it as planting seeds, as what we reap, we shall sow. When we support each other we set the foundation of love that expands beyond the moment. “Two are better than one,” says Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, and “they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Not everything has to have a material price tag. By forgiving, sacrificing time (and sometimes pride) and with ingenuity, all of us can serve others during the holidays and well into the New Year.
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