We began Lent by looking at the importance of centering our giving in love. Now, let’s look at how we can enact that love. If we’re emulating the sacrificial love of Christ, we can’t just drop a check in the offering plate and think we’re done (though as a member of the Stewardship Committee, I heartily encourage that as a first step).

Let us look for ways to extend ourselves and involve ourselves with our neighbors, especially those in need. There are diverse and vibrant service groups within our congregation, and you may already be part of one: the Comforters, the Prayer Shawl Ministry, the Homeless Kits Ministry, the Sunday School and Bible Study teachers, to name just a few. If you aren’t involved in one of these but would like to be, you’ll be welcomed.

Perhaps our existing groups don’t speak to your particular gifts or area of interest. Perhaps there’s an unaddressed need you’d like to fill or a problem you’d like to correct. Start a new ministry and encourage those around you to join you. What better time than Lent to use your gifts and channel your desires into meaningful service that can change lives while honoring God?

When we serve our neighbors with a humble and willing heart, we are truly God’s hands. We don’t just give of ourselves, we share Him. We reassure those who know Him. We introduce Him to those who have never met Him. We remind those who have forgotten Him that He still loves them.

And our own bonds with God are strengthened because we have found new and vigorous ways to do the simplest but most powerful thing He asks of us: We demonstrate that we love Him and we love each other. This Lent, give love by giving service in His Name.

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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 invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Matthew 25:34-36