This Sunday, Jim O’Neill will read a scripture from one of the books near the end of the new testament. The scripture is a bit confusing, but here is a summary of what he will read.
This is how we know what real love is: Jesus spent his life helping and caring for others. We too should show our love to others by what we do.. Suppose there is someone who has more than enough; a comfortable place to live, food on the table and money in the bank, yet they see neighbors in need and yet do not help them.
Jesus’ two important commandments were to love God, and to love and care for our neighbor. WE should not show our love with only words and talk. God wants us to show love in what we say, and what we do; with kindness and with the work of our hands and feet. – Adapted from The International Children’s Bible, 1 John 3:16-24
Love is not just what we feel. Love is what we do. How can you show God’s love to others? Everyone has the ability to make a difference in another person’s life. Here are some ideas:
❤ “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” not just to people you know, but to everyone you meet. Smile at people and say “good morning” or hello.” We’ve all had bad days – days when everything seems to go wrong. Many people are sad or lonely. You never know when a cheerful smile, a friendly greeting or a tiny bit of help can lift someone’s spirits – can make them feel happier, and can give them hope.
❤ Help clean up someone’s yard. Spring is a time when folks clean up their yards. You might have a friend, neighbor or family member who needs some help. Perhaps they are ill, or not able to spend long times outside. Or perhaps they just don’t have the energy. Ask if you can help them pick up sticks, rake leaves or uncover some of their plants. I have a friend who is 90 years old and uses a walker. Her garden gives her great joy. Each spring and fall, she looks forward to a visit from children & teens from her church, who help clean up her yard, following her instructions.
❤ Share clothes, books & games: If you’ve outgrown your summer clothes, share the too-small clothes with someone else, or donate them to 2nd Glance, which will accept clothing, books, games, videos and more.
❤ Pick up. Help your family clean up after dinner, or pick up the busiest room in your house. Pick up trash on your street or at the beach. Always wear gloves and avoid picking up glass or metal that might cut you.
❤ Surprise someone! Surprise someone you know by bringing them flowers, cookies, a beautiful shell or stone, or something you made. Handmade surprises are the BEST! You could sing a song for them. If you can’t visit them, call them, or surprise them with a picture or a message.
❤ Read a story to someone who can’t read as well as you can, or help them read it themselves. It might be someone who is younger than you are or someone who is older. I have a friend who is 86 years old and lives in Wisconsin; she taught English and Reading for 45 years and LOVES to read herself. Now she is almost blind and she can no longer read. But she loves to have stories read to her!
❤ Plant a tree to honor someone you love! Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April – which is next Friday. But any day in the spring is a good time to plant a tree.
❤ Brighten someone’s day! Color this is, sign it and share it with someone you know, OR surprise someone you don’t know very well.
❤Talk to and stand up for someone in school who is having a hard day. Sometimes people are teased because they are different in some way – but inside we are all the same. Mean actions and mean words make all of us feel sad and lonely; we need to know that someone cares. It might be hard to stand up for someone. If you can’t do it alone, tell a teacher or a trusted adult at school. You should definitely tell your parents if this happens to you or to someone you know.
In the past year, we have seen and heard far too many stories of people being hurt because of the way they look, where they were born, or how they worship God. God wants us to love each other. Love is not just what we feel. Love is what we do, every single day.
I was excited to find this cool video showing us how to draw the heart at the top of the page. It is fast-forwarded towards the end – so you may need to pause the video a few times to follow the steps.
I also saw this wonderful video, and knew I had to share it! : In a world where you can be anything, be a number 50
As you go through the week ahead, remember that you are loved and watch for opportunities to share that love with others, by helping them and by small acts of kindness. We are all connected by love.
You are blessed to be a blessing.