We live in an age that celebrates individual effort and achievement, often to the detriment it seems of group effort. But for some events, only a team approach will do.
Recently I had the opportunity to serve alongside an amazing volunteer force as they martialed all of their creative and logistical skills to put on an afternoon event in our community. Mobile Hope of Loudoun sponsors a yearly Holiday Party for the families of the clients that they serve. They provided clothing and a massive stack of wrapped Christmas gifts for the children (toys provided by Toys for Tots). While the kids were waiting for time with Santa and a family photo, they got to spend time at the many crafts tables staffed by volunteers.
But this is where the army really stepped in to serve. There were teams of young ladies at the nail salon table; groups of teenage guys stacking tables, chairs, and boxes of food; middle school students at the “reindeer food” table and others at the “make your own slime” craft table. And adults gamely wearing holiday attire or crazy light-up necklaces, elf shoes, Santa hats. Everyone working together, volunteering their Sunday so that others might have a Christmas that would be remembered.
It’s a great encouragement when one gets to see the Spirit of Christmas in action, that it truly is better to give than to receive. I was reminded recently by a friend at church that we aren’t lacking in volunteer opportunities or in areas to serve others, but that what we often are lacking is the willingness to serve others. But this day, the army was out in force, serving others in a powerful expression of love.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10