Acts Of Service During The Holidays
The Holidays can be a stressful time for many. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of family get-togethers, church functions, work parties, and the shopping, wrapping, and everything else this time of year distracts us with. We can very easily lose sight of what’s important – letting God’s light shine through us and participating in acts of service that will show love to others. We can start within our own families, but we can also love others around us who aren’t a part of our families. The Bible even gives us a command to love one another:
34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13: 34-35)
Here are some ideas of how to show the love of Jesus while taking part in acts of service this Holiday season.
Invite Friends & Family to Church Activities
You probably have both family and friends who do not attend church regularly or even at all. This time of year is when non-churchgoers are more open to attending. Even if you’ve invited them recently and they’ve said no, reach out and extend the invitation to attend with you again. If they say no, don’t get irritated with them and try lecturing them about why they should go. Let it be, and continue praying for them.
Lunch/Brunch/Dinner After Church
Do you know of an elderly person(s), young family, etc., that is having a hard time? Whether it be job loss, death, financial struggle, or anything else someone could be struggling with, take time to reach out and invite them to a meal out after church. This is a great way to get to know others you may not usually have the opportunity to get to know. Love them, not just by paying for their meal but by listening and being present. Ask them about their lives and engage in conversation with them. Don’t prod; let them lead and open up as they feel led. Ask if you can pray over them before parting ways and then do so.
Old Fashioned Christmas Carols
There is almost nothing more Christmas-like than singing Christmas carols on the street or to neighbors. Get some friends together or church members and sing out the beautiful songs of the season. Go to a retirement home community or just sing inside of a shopping mall or a big store.
The holidays are one of the loneliest times of year for anyone, especially the elderly who have lost a loved one, are housebound, or live in a nursing home. So why not put a smile on their face this year? Head to a local nursing home to visit with the residents. You could spend a few minutes just chatting with them, asking how their day is. Or read a Christmas book or some Bible verses with them. Do you have elderly neighbors? Mix up some extra batches of Christmas cookies or fudge and put together a little goody plate for them. It doesn’t take much to put a smile on their face – they just want some company!
A soup kitchen is where the homeless or needy can go for food. Millions go without food each day; a soup kitchen is just the beginning in helping feed the hungry. They are always looking for volunteers, and families enjoy doing this during the holidays. It’s a great learning experience for kids and teens to let them see how some people don’t even have access to the necessities, such as food, every day without something like a soup kitchen.
If you’re at a holiday gathering, offer to help in the kitchen or see what else the host needs your help with. Not everyone likes help, especially in their kitchen, but just making the offer goes a long way. You can also ask if they need you to bring anything. Once the meal is over, offer to help clean up or, better yet, don’t offer just start doing.
Give Homemade Treats
Make some extra goodies as you do your regular baking this holiday season. Put them in a decorative tin and take them to your neighbors. Drop some off at the local police department or fire station. Giving homemade treats is a fun and easy way to love others, especially those that are often forgotten.
Meals on Wheels
Did you know that millions of seniors rely on Meals on Wheels, and tens of thousands more are on waiting lists? (Source: Meals On Wheels America) That’s a pretty staggering statistic and just shows how vital this service is. There are different ways you can help by volunteering with this service – help pack the meals, deliver the meals, and even drive to deliver meals. Want to volunteer for Meals On Wheels? Learn more here https://bit.ly/3NpMUJ8
Send A Package to Our Military Troops
Let’s never forget about all the men and women who serve our country to give us the freedom we have to celebrate. Holidays can be a challenging time for them as they are away from family and friends and sometimes can’t even call home! Put a smile on their faces and show them they’re loved and not forgotten this holiday by sending a care package.
A few last thoughts. This act of service is a neat way to help someone in need. You could reach out to a local church and ask about a family needing some extra help and ‘adopt’ them for Christmas. You could also find your local food bank and donate – they can always use more canned goods, personal hygiene items, etc. But I recommend contacting them first to see what their needs at the time are.
Whatever you decide, the Holiday season is the perfect time to serve others around you and a great opportunity to bless others with acts of service.
Grace and peace,