Last week, we talked about Practicing Thankfulness as one of Four Ways to Make Your Holidays Matter this holiday season. The second way is to serve.
The holiday season reminds us that life never wants us to slow down, but in fact, the forces of culture want us to speed up! This is why it is critical that we choose not to obey culture and her demands; instead, we must decide to live a life that reflects a better way to spend our time, money, and talents.
During the holidays, we move so fast that suddenly, it’s all over. Those holiday moments will be nothing but memories. Did we make an impact? Did we rest? Did we spend quality time with people we care for? Did we serve those in need?
In a few weeks, we will celebrate the birthday of the One who served more than any other human in history. It’s almost impossible to fathom the sacrifice that Jesus made on the behalf of the world–me, you and the person you may be serving.
Years later, He again showed the world an example of what it means to serve by hanging on a tree. The world will never be the same because of His brilliant acts of sacrifice and service.
Jesus left us with these powerful words: “As the Father has sent me, so I’m sending you.” He said to “serve the least of these,” and then goes even further, commanding us to serve our enemy.
Here are three reasons why we are all called to serve:
1) Spiritual Formation
When you choose to serve others, you’re building a strong, powerful foundation. Serving requires sacrifice; you may have to give up some comforts in life.
When you serve others, you draw closer to Jesus. You enter into a deeper connection with Him, as you learn to empathize with those who are suffering. It may sound selfish, but serving others is an exercise that builds strong, powerful spiritual muscles; it helps you to be healthy.
2) A Significant Impact
Of course, we don’t serve for ourselves. Our service leads to something beautiful: impact. This holiday season, you can change someone’s life by serving them with humility, dignity, and mutual respect.
Serving others leads to a more empathetic life. When you do serve others, I would encourage you not to see it as a project, but as a relationship.
Here are 7 ways to serve:
- Help a single mother/father who may not be able to afford gifts; give them a gift for their child.
- Serve at your local homeless shelter. Pay attention to those you are serving. Being present and treating people with respect is vital.
- Give your boss or co-workers a simple gift card from Starbucks or your local coffee shop for $5 and just say, “thanks.”
- Ask your local elementary school if they need help or have kids who need help. Be a support system for them.
- Write a note of encouragement to a friend who may struggle in the holidays because of pain or loss.
- Help an elderly neighbor get stuff done for the Christmas season.
- Invite friends over for holiday parties or for Christmas. Many people have nowhere to go for the holidays.
There are so many ways to serve; if you have an idea, leave a comment here or on Facebook and let us know other creative ways.
3) To prove what you believe
If you follow Christ, it’s easy to forget that we are held accountable to live a life like Jesus. We need grace and we need mercy, but we also have to mimic Jesus’ life. We have to make an effort to live in such a way that others will see the love of God seeping through our lives.
When we are thankful and when we choose to serve, we are showing the world a glimpse of who Jesus really is. We break through all the noise, confusion, and chaos in which mainstream Christianity bogs down, and we’re able to prove that we do believe in Jesus by the life we live and the way we serve.
So make this holiday season beautiful! Sit down with your family or friends and create a simple plan to serve. Soon, January will be here, and this wonderful season will be in the history books. Let’s ensure that we can look back and see a beautiful reflection.