Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Washing Dishes, Serving, and Christmas

My wife and her family are absolutely amazing. There are a number of reasons I could list for why I feel this way, but this little post will be centered on just one of them—doing dishes on Christmas.

For the last three years Jamie and her family have allowed me the privilege of joining them in this long time Reaser tradition. It started when Jamie was in middle school/junior high, and her parents were a little concerned that their daughter might somehow get distracted by all of the gift-giving around Christmas and think the day is really about her.

As a result, Jamie’s mom started looking for opportunities in which they could serve on Christmas day in the local community. In Clarksburg, a group had organized a Christmas dinner where they invited people to come for a meal in a local Methodist church (or have the meal delivered). Jamie and her parents signed themselves up to wash dishes and stay behind the scenes. (Ironically, the first time I went with them the local TV station interviewed Jamie about serving there.)

There is something healing that happens in our souls when we serve and look out for the interests of others instead of just ourselves. I believe that this gesture that flies in the face of what has become a ‘normal’ celebration of Christmas (lots of un-needed gifts, and a mid-afternoon visit to a movie theater). Now, don’t get me wrong, movies are great, and the thought behind most gifts is also wonderful, but they just don’t hold a candle to serving.

Jesus said that He “came not to be served but to serve others…”, and when we serve, we are actually following the example and teaching of Jesus. And what better day to serve than on the day the world celebrates His birth.

As 2013 gets started, I want to encourage you to look for opportunities to serve, and then serve. I believe that serving changes us in a good way. I believe that if we all took a little more time to serve others, our families would be healthier, our neighborhoods would be safer, and our world would be a little brighter. And service doesn’t have to be part of a big event. Often the best opportunities to serve show up in the mundane and the every day.

Here’s to making a fresh commitment to service in 2013!

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