Given the challenges in my life right now (which I’ve discussed in previous programs), I certainly have had better Christmas seasons. But I also can’t complain. I’m greatly blessed.
So are all of us. We all have people who care about us. Even when we think we don’t, God sends His angels to help us feel love in the moments when we most need to feel it.
The Lord has said His angels will be “round about you to bear you up” (D&C 84:88). Sometimes those angels are actual people. Loved ones on the other side of the veil cheer us onward, and servants of the Almighty — imperfect disciples who love the Lord and try to follow the Master — provide assistance on this side.
We can all be that kind of angel, the kind that gives service to those who need to receive it. The size of the service doesn’t matter, because serving just means being kind. Service doesn’t need to be big or showy. It just needs to be done.
Small often counts more
There’s so many ways to serve. Two weeks ago we talked about the Light the World campaign promoted by the Church. Here you can find some wonderful ideas to serve. This week focuses on sharing light with the community.
Of course, we can all think of our own ideas for service. Again, it doesn’t need to be big or showy. Very often the small acts of service are the most meaningful.
I’ve shared before the account of the small act of service my mother provided during prayer. As I knelt with my mother in prayer before returning to finish my graduate program after the holiday break, I heard her beseeching the blessings of heaven to assist me in finishing. Not long after my return, I became frustrated with the progress of my research and more especially my deteriorating relationship with my major professor. So great was my frustration I wanted to quit.
I still remember the impression powerfully coming over me as I marched out of the student union building intent on telling my major professor I was done. The memory of my mother praying for me gave me courage to change my mind and strength to finish my program. I wouldn’t have that graduate degree without the small act of service my mother provided. Again, service doesn’t need to be big or showy. It just needs to be done.
Christ showed the way
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ demonstrates excellent examples of service — acts of kindness done for the praise of God and not for the praise of men. He specifically mentions giving alms, fasting, and prayer. We can each give these small acts of service.
Our contributions to the Church’s humanitarian aid fund provide for the truly needy of the world. Many other worthy charities accept donations of money, time, and other resources. We can all give something. We can all also fast in behalf of those we know in need. And we can all include petitions for blessings in our prayers that someone we know will be sustained and even prospered through a difficult challenge. Those prayers are especially powerful when we pray for others by name.
I’ve enjoyed great blessings through small acts of service I’ve performed in connection with my Sermon on the Mount study. I’ve spoken before about this annual tradition in which I spend the last 40 days of the year applying the Sermon on the Mount to my life. One recent act of service I performed was to bring lunch to my father and afterwards help him disassemble his backyard gazebo. It wasn’t service you could describe as big or showy. But it was service that needed to be done.
Your service awaits
Everything I’ve discussed so far is really just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. The small acts of service we could provide are truly infinite in number. And every one of them can have a powerful influence for good.
What will your small act of service be? What kindness will you show someone? To what causes will you contribute your money, your time, or your resources? For whom will you fast? For whom will you pray by name? You can make this Christmas season truly memorable for both you and those you serve when you share your kindness all around.
Service doesn’t need to be big or showy. It just does need to be done. When you take the time to give of your time, your money, your resources — and most importantly your love — you shine the light of Christ into a world growing ever more dark. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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