Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Gift of Service

The Christmas season is my favorite. The lights, the decorations, the music. This year, though, every time I began feeling all jolly, I found myself holding back.  Our children are all wrapped up in the excitement and thrill of a promised bounty on Christmas morning.  As a parent, the worry and stress over providing that bounty is sometimes overwhelming.  I know that Christmas isn't just about gifts.  And, I know that my children will survive if they don't get what they asked for.  But, still, you want that morning to be magical.  So, although, the season is in full swing, I was feeling hesitant to begin celebrating.

Last week, I had the opportunity to do some volunteer service.  Our church has a welfare program that helps people when they're having a hard time.  Part of that program is the Bishop's Storehouse, where those who've gone to the Bishop (leader of our congregation) and gotten a food order, can get their food.  I spent the day stocking shelves, cleaning and helping patrons.  It was a slow day, so there was some time to sit and listen to the Christmas music playing in the background. I sat and thought about this Christmas time.  Something about putting your own needs aside and focusing on others puts things in perspective.  I had the overwhelming feeling that things would be okay.  I knew that I needed to have faith in Him whose birth we're celebrating.  And I need to celebrate.

Today, we decorated the tree-finally.  The kids polished off their wish lists and I bravely read them, smiling and assuring them that they'd made good choices.  Tomorrow, we will talk about service and discuss ways that we can help others this month.  What better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus than doing as He did.  His life and ministry were about serving others.  He healed the sick, fed the hungry and raised the dead.  He loved unconditionally and cared for those He loved. We will celebrate by serving.  That will be our gift to Him.

4 comments:

  1. I absolutely adore when church's are actually active in their communities as opposed to just places people congregate on Sunday. My current church has a regular kitchen for those who need help. They're also constantly organizing events to keep the community going. It makes me really happy to be a part of things.

    Wow. That was a rather self-centered way of me saying, "Your church rocks!"

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  2. Thanks, April. There's a quote by Gandhi that I love. He said- "A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help solve them is no religion."

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  3. Jewels, I love that quote and I love this post. Your thoughts on faith in action are really admirable. Wishing you a happy and rewarding Christmas season.

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  4. Jewels, this is such a beautiful post. I get so frustrated with "the Christmas season" for many of the same reasons. It's nice to know that people such as yourself are looking outward. Thanks.

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