Friends, how do you fulfill the commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself?” As a parent, I think about this often. My actions to achieve this commandment not only influence my children, but also my friends, family, and community. Jesus stated in Mark 10:45 “For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” The translation of the Greek word for “to serve” means caring for the needs of others as the Lord guides in an active, practical way. God wants you out there, using your gifts and talents to minister to others. Perhaps you don’t know where to serve, or who to serve. Or maybe you have been serving faithfully but feel the tug of our Lord leading you elsewhere in a new capacity.
So, what do you do?
Get up and get moving! God will guide you; He will close a door, and open another. Start anywhere and see what happens. When you set out to fulfill the glory of God, He most certainly will guide your steps. Friends, the good news is that there are so many things we can do, big and small, to serve others. God gave us a voice to say hello, and a sweet smile to flash. He gave us hands to pick up trash, serve food, and give hugs. It all starts by doing something small, but trust me, it is meaningful to someone. So, I urge you to serve, not to boast or brag about it after, but to glorify God who so generously gave us the gifts to do so. Remember, Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Here are some ways to start serving. Trust me, once you start you won’t be able to stop. All the places below, depending how old your kids are, would be great to do as a family.
- Check in on your neighbors who are elderly. Invite them to Thanksgiving or Christmas, or take them leftovers or a pie.
- After Thanksgiving if you have a lot of leftovers, plate them up and take the family and go pass out the plates to the homeless in downtown San Jose at the park.
- Sacred Heart is a great place to drop off donations and serve individually, as a family, or as a large group. You can even organize a food drive. It is an amazing place to get started and have many ways to get involved.
- Second Harvest Food Bank is another place to sort or distribute food to the community. Usually my shifts are about 3 hours, once a month (for food distribution).
- Habitat for Humanity has been my favorite place since high school. To me, there is so much joy transforming a house for a family so they can build a better life.
- KAFPA (Kinship, Adoptive, Foster Parent Association) are always taking donations for families. Donate clothes, books, or toys. Better yet, start a blanket drive in your community and drop them off at their San Jose location, 373 W Julian St. NOTE: Google always gets the directions wrong, when you exit Julian off 87, turn right then take your first right into that large complex center. Drive all the way back as far as you can through the parking lot and the office is there.
So, how will you serve with purpose? What are some of your favorite ways to serve? Comment below.