Wipe your schedule so that you can serve others. Take a break from your own to-do list, and let other people’s needs drive your day.
Green: Wipe your schedule for an hour to serve someone at home.
Amber: Wipe your schedule for part of the day: message someone and say, ‘I’m free between X and Y and I’m happy to help with anything you need to do.’
Red: Wipe your schedule for a whole day! Fill it entirely with others’ needs (one person or lots of people). See how much serving you can fit in!
“…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40 NIV)
Some years ago, the town of Preston in Lancashire suffered disastrous flooding which caused huge amounts of damage and disruption. Over 200 volunteers from local churches cleared their diaries for five days to help those affected. The teams completed 25 projects in those five days, cleaning, decorating, gardening, litter picking and doing whatever they could to demonstrate the love of Jesus to their neighbours.
For one flood victim, it was a life-changing experience. Working as part of a joint Preston church project, the team helped him to renovate his damaged home so that he was able to move back in again.
Breaking down in tears, the man explained that he had felt he had no way out of the situation, but that the generous actions of the church team had turned his life around.
Preston is one of the cities where churches are part of HOPE, a charity working together to make Jesus known through their words and actions, a catalyst that brings churches together to transform communities.
Sometimes we need a prompt to clear the diary and help others in need. Crises such as fires, floods and natural disasters do happen, but it shouldn’t take one of these rare events to remind us to drop everything and help out. There will always be needs in our communities and neighbourhoods, needs which we can help to meet with a bit of time, effort, love and compassion.
As we look towards Easter and the amazing hope we have of Jesus’ resurrection, today’s a great time to plan what we can do with others from local churches to serve our communities, doing whatever it takes. As Jesus said, ‘Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40 MSG).