A voice in the wilderness: Serve in love
A big part of my faith is serving others. About a month ago, I attended the 8th-grade confirmation retreat here at church. To give you a bit of background on what we did, the retreat featured seven different pathways that encouraged us to ask the “essential question” of how we connect to God. One of them really stuck out to me.
Our group of teenagers, adult leaders, and pastors traveled to the River Bend Foodbank. Our job there was to put together grocery sacks of food for hungry kids and families in our area. Running the bags up and down the aisles, singing along to “Sweet Caroline” and “Jump,” and hearing laughter and joyful shouts warmed my heart. I don’t know how you could not have had fun. In our two-hour time slot, we packaged 2,700 meals for kids in our area.
After our session, a woman who worked at the foodbank told us that she appreciated our help and wanted us to come serve again. She then told us a story about a boy who received his weekend food on Friday before being dismissed from school. He told her that he hid the food in his family’s “junky car” so he and his brother had food when his mom kicked them out of the house. I thought about everything we take for granted. An average dinner for me could be chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans, and other sides. Then, you have hungry families who get one Chef Boyardee 7.5 oz microwavable beef ravioli to share for their dinner.
This Advent season, let’s all put others before ourselves. Maybe donate to an angel tree, sing Christmas carols to patients at a hospital, or visit residents at a nursing home/assisted living facility. Go volunteer at a soup kitchen, or do something as simple as donating food to families in need.
Serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)
Adrianna Blackwell is an eighth-grader at North Scott Junior High. She enjoys playing volleyball and softball, watching baseball (Go Cubs Go!), participating in theater, singing, and playing her ukulele/guitar. Some of Adrianna’s favorite things to do at church are volunteering in the 3-year-old room during Sunday morning learning, attending 678 nights, and taking part in the neighborhood cleanups.