It’s easy to talk about serving our communities in broad strokes, and it’s natural for us to serve those in our relational orbit – friends, family, coworkers, etc. But what does it look like to specifically serve the vulnerable in our communities? The ones whom we don’t know. The ones who won’t be able to repay us in any tangible or emotional way. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Help your local food bank
And we don’t mean just donate (but that’s also a great way to serve!). Food banks are often short-staffed and in dire need of volunteers. Step in and use your talents to help ensure that your community gets the food it needs. In this way, we are fulfilling Romans 12:13, which says “Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.”
2. Do some chores
Our communities are full of folks who have trouble doing the work most of us do every day. Whether it be mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters, going grocery shopping, or whatever other “mundane” tasks that are often taken for granted, a wonderful way to help others is to simply dive in and do the work. Hebrews 13:16 reminds us: “Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.”
3. Visit the lonely
Whether it be the local nursing home, a prison, a hospital, or some other place, most of our communities have places that, for those who are there, feel lonely and isolating. By visiting these people you are, in essence, visiting Christ himself. As he says in Matthew 25:35-40: “‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?’ And he the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
There are, of course, limitless other opportunities for us to serve those around us. These are but a few ideas. We encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open for even more opportunities to share the grace and blessings given to you, and in doing so show the true nature of Christ.