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Thoughts for the New Year – Serving Creatively

New Year's 2015-2016Key Bible Verses: Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly. Free those who are abused! Share your food with everyone who is hungry; share your home with the poor and homeless. Give clothes to those in need.  – Isaiah 58:6-7, CEV

Dig Deeper: Deuteronomy 15:10-11

Last week I saw a German shepherd running down a street near my house. Because it was windy, and my neighbor’s gate often blows open, I was sure it was my neighbor’s dog. I went over to his house to check on the gate. He saw me through the living room window and came out. I asked if his dog was home—and he was—all was good. As I turned to walk down his driveway, he said, “I can’t believe you would care about my dog.” Then he asked, “When are you guys going to have another tamale party? I like being at your house.”

For years my wife has had tamale-making parties during the New Year’s holiday. We invite friends and neighbors and teach them how to make tamales out of cornmeal paste, various spiced meats, cheese, cornhusks, and so on. We not only eat them but everyone gets to take a bunch home.

I keep my eyes open for creative ways to notice and serve others.

Looking after a neighbor’s dog and making tamales don’t quite get to the level of Isaiah’s vision [in today’s Key Bible Verses], but through these small practices I hope I can get there some day.

—Todd Hunter in Christianity Beyond Belief

My Response: Over the next several days, I will intentionally look for “creative ways to notice and serve others.”

Adapted from Christianity Beyond Belief (IVP, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, open my heart to the needs around me, open my eyes to ways I can serve, open my hands so that I might reach out and demonstrate your love.


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