Consider Performing An Act of Service this Christmas Season

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Christmas Act of Service

You may know my mom recently passed away. She was in the nursing home for about 18 months prior. At 93, she decided she simply could no longer navigate that flight of 20 steps. Yes, she faithfully navigated 20 steps up and down until she was 93+ years old. She requested we move her. As much as she wanted to be right next door to my sister and around the block from me, navigating the stairs become a concern for her.

We want to put our gifts to use all year long, yet life gets busy and there isn’t always time to serve. Your acts of service matter, so reach out today.

I can only imagine many of you also have elderly family members no longer next door or around the block from you. At this time of year, we want to remember them as the holidays can be even lonelier than other times of the year.

We want to put our gifts to use all year long, yet life gets busy and there isn’t always time to serve. Your acts of service matter, so reach out today.

So reach out in love. Whether you are close or have issues with each other, reach out. Even over that long standing crevasse full of hostility and estrangement; you will be glad you did. Whether the person accepts your gesture of hospitality or not is up to them, yet I encourage you to go in love, seeking peace and reconciliation, with an humble heart.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Use your gifts. God gave them to you for a purpose. So unpack them and put them to use – today. We want to be putting our gifts to use all year long, yet life gets busy and there isn’t always time to serve. Now that the Christmas season is among us, this is one of the best times to volunteer your time (and talents too).

Not sure where to find a place to volunteer? Start with resources within your community like a nursing home, the Salvation Army, a homeless shelter, your local jail – inmates could use some love and joy this time of year too, or a soup kitchen. And if you still need some ideas check out the site Christian Volunteering at www.christianvolunteering.org. You never know who you will meet…We want to put our gifts to use all year long, yet life gets busy and there isn’t always time to serve. Your acts of service matter, so reach out today.

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

You may have a family member in a facility that would love you to bring children to sing Christmas Carols or conduct a fun game. Be creative. Let’s look at three popular volunteer ideas to help get you started:

  1. Visiting Elderly

One of the loneliest times of year for anyone especially the elderly who have lost a loved one, are house-bound or living in a nursing home, is the holidays. 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! (Just like we do!)

  1. Soup Kitchen

A soup kitchen is a place where the homeless or destitute can go for food. There are millions that go without food each day, a soup kitchen is just the beginning in helping feed the hungry. In larger cities/area they have actual soup kitchens but in smaller areas it may not even be called a soup kitchen.

In many small towns, it’s may be a church basement that is used for a free breakfast or lunch done daily. They are always looking for volunteers and during the holidays, families enjoy doing this. 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.  True appreciation begins to take root as they experience others having so little.

  1. Meals on Wheels

    Did you know that millions of seniors rely on Meals on Wheels and tens of thousands more are on waiting lists across the country? (Source: Meals On Wheels America). That’s a pretty staggering statistic that goes to show how important 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 www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/americaletsdolunch.

Whenever I was in East Texas, I helped Mom and Dad deliver Meals on Wheels a decade ago. Even though they were in their early 80s, Mom and Dad delivered meals to “the old folks.” Don’t you just love that perspective? I did then and still do. It kept them young well into their 80s.

A few last thoughts. This one isn’t a volunteer opportunity in the sense you’ll be out in your community interacting with those around you, but it’s a way to help someone in need. You can reach out to a local church and ask about a family in need to ‘adopt’ them for Christmas. You can also find your local food bank and donate, as they can always use more canned goods, personal hygiene items, etc.  I recommend contacting them first to see what their needs are.

Consider taking a bunch of sandwiches, chips and cookies to a hospital ICU, CCU, or surgical waiting room. Waiting in a hospital an intensely emotional time. People do not want to leave their loved ones yet they still need to eat.

Whatever you decide, the Christmas season is the perfect time to perform an act of service for others around you and a great opportunity for parents to teach their young children about the joy in serving and helping those less fortunate. After all, Jesus is the one who taught us it is better to give that to receive. So give of yourself – freely and cheerfully.

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 (NLT)

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16 thoughts on “Consider Performing An Act of Service this Christmas Season

  1. The smallest acts of kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way, especially for seniors. My heart hurts for those who don’t have family visiting them and caring for them. My mother is in a nursing home and not mobile enough to be able to leave the home, so she is always so appreciative of us bringing the celebrations and fun to her and being kept in the loop of our day-to-day lives. Thanks for the reminder to be thinking of others over the Christmas season.

  2. Wonderful ideas here! Praying God’s extra measure of grace and peace as you navigate through all the experiences of the Christmas season while missing your mom!

  3. I love this…there are so many who would appreciate an act of kindness today (and every day)! Seeing those who struggle in different ways (physically, financially, emotionally, relationally, etc.) and serving them helps to keep us from getting too wrapped up in the things that don’t really matter in light of eternity. Thinking of you as you grieve the loss of your mother.

  4. Dear Susan,
    May God wrap His comforting arms around you as you grieve the loss of your mom. I have found, that in my grief, reaching out to help others can be a form of therapy and healing for me and a gift to those I serve. Love Hebrews 13:2!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  5. I know you’ll be missing your mom this Christmas. 🙁 Thanks for passing along these ideas. Even the smallest act of service can make a big difference in the life of someone who is lonely.

  6. love every part of this – serving the neighbors tomorrow- i invite all 90 – sometimes only get 10 but God loves the 10 and the 1 and so many are very lost lambs. (Prayers appreciated. 9 am Pacific )

  7. Susan, your mother sounds like an amazing woman and you must miss her terribly. What a life of demonstrating love! These are such wonderful, thoughtful ideas. I’m Pinning! Blessings and peace to you as you adjust to life with your mama in heaven, Tammy

  8. Susan, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. She must have been a feisty lady – doing 20 steps at age 93! Thank you for a wonderful post. I will be doing Meals on Wheels this Christmas, as I do all year long. I absolutely love delivering the meals. Our organization is all-volunteer – no one gets paid. My DIL will be helping me deliver when she is here visiting from Oregon. I am looking forward to that!

  9. Susan,

    Sorry for the loss of your mother. Thanks for a great post loaded with ideas around how we can be Gods hand extended in love during this Christmas season. Our world has changed so much with high levels of security in hospitals, nursing homes and such making it difficult to do some of what you listed, however, we can still do something and that is the point. Comforting thoughts to you as you grieve the loss of your mother.

  10. Susan, I am sorry for the loss of your beautiful mom. I’ve enjoyed learning more about her and you in your recent posts. This post is so inspirational and timely. Sharing it on Pinterest and Twitter. Merry Christmas to you, friend!

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