Monday, December 27, 2010

Serving For The Holidays

It was a little after noon, when I hopped in the car with Jamie and her parents and we made our way to the First United Methodist Church of Clarksburg.  Jamie had invited me into a tradition that had been part of her family since she was in middle school.  Each year, her family drives into town on Christmas day, not to take gifts to another relatives house, but to serve people behind the scenes.

We showed up and were given aprons and our charge—clean dishes until they were all done. “Why were the dishes dirty?” you might ask.  Well, they were dirty because the church had prepared over 1000 meals to be distributed throughout the county, and also enjoyed in the meeting hall of the church.  It was pretty amazing, and reminded me of serving  in a kitchen with my Dutch and American missionary friends one year in Amsterdam, but that is another story.

It was really special being able to give to benefit others as we worked on Christmas day.  It felt really refreshing to serve, and I hope that it is a tradition we can continue in coming years.   It is far to easy to make the holidays about us, about the presents we get, about the quality of the presents we give, or about other things that really have minimal lasting benefit, but there is something really special that happens in us as well as in others when we get out of our comfort zones and serve. 

Every time I spend time with Jamie and her family, I’m simply amazed at the way Christ shines through them in both subtle and profound ways, and I find myself learning and growing in my love for Him as well as for those around me. 

As I scrubbed out pots and pans, I thought about the generosity of the church for opening its doors to provide this service.  I thought about the 1279 people who had meals delivered to their homes by volunteers.  I thought about the volunteers who were driving around town with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and pumpkin pie and a little smile came on my face as I thought about lonely people who were greeted by a smiling face and a meal on Christmas day.  If only we would see more love of our neighbor, then maybe this world would be a much more beautiful and safe place for all.  

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