Lent – Day 28
Serving Others out of Gratitude
Every Saturday during this study, you will learn about common spiritual disciplines that many followers of Jesus practice during Lent. Today you will learn about service. These disciplines are valuable tools to draw near to God when they come from a heart seeking to do just that — rather than a heart which hopes to justify itself through these works or simply check a box on its Lent “to-do” list. We hope these insights will encourage you and help connect you to the Father throughout these 40 days.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4, English Standard Version)
Ipeered into a mostly dark storeroom. Light glinted off of coins filling 21 large plastic buckets. It looked like my eight-year-old self would have expected a pirate’s cave to look, plastic aside.
Two of the stronger men grabbed a bucket. Struggling together, the bucket just inches from the ground, they moved it outside. Men and women wearing plastic gloves — instead of eye patches — pulled out coins.
Coins went onto a screen laid over a trough. Small rocks and trash fell through. The coins were rinsed.
Next, they poured the coins into a pan of cloudy liquid that emitted a mild chemical odor. They massaged the coins, removing accumulated corrosion and grunge. Then the coins were sorted by value and, in a few cases, country of origin.
As they worked, the men and women chatted cheerfully. Words about children, grandkids, gardens and lawns filled the air. But instead of working on their own yards or spending time with their families, they were there to serve.
The coins came from fountains at a local theme park. The park donated them to a home for children with serious disabilities. But in the buckets, the coins weren’t bankable. Only after sorting and cleaning would they be usable.
The joyful afternoon ended with treasure for the children living at the home. And for the adults there to help, it didn’t feel like work. They’d experienced the love of Jesus, shown by His willingness to give His life on Good Friday, and they shared that love in a small way with others. As the home’s staff members and residents saw the volunteers work, they were seeing Jesus’ love in action.
How would you like to share your experience of Jesus’ love in action? Today, would you pair up with a friend and find a way to show the love of Jesus through a nonprofit organization in your community? Serve a meal, clean a lawn or, if you’re fortunate, sort a bucketful of coins.