In a new Christmas video “In the Bleak Midwinter” which is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872, Working with Lemons demonstrates the joys of serving others. In the video, we see the family caroling together while performing random acts of service for others along the way. They even leave neatly wrapped gifts on the steps of an unsuspecting family. The looks on the faces of those being surprised by the generosity of an unknown person are priceless and are worth more than all the silver and gold in the world.
In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin in his epic sermon taught, “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). In this context, to be in the service of our fellow man means that we see a brother or sister in need and we are willing to help in any way we can without expecting anything in return. German-born diarist and writer, Anne Frank, in her astute observation concluded, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” And John Bunyan, author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress said, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” Our “payment” for services rendered is in knowing that we have blessed the life of another, and in return, our lives are also blessed.
Service does not necessarily have to be something grandiose. It can also be a simple act of kindness. English writer and social critic, Charles Dickens, once stated, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” This life is not meant to be spent focusing on ourselves, but rather our focus and attention, and indeed our greatest blessings in this life, come from serving others.
There are many opportunities available to help others. We can do small and random acts of kindness for our neighbors or take part in community service projects. The holiday season is a perfect time to give service to individuals and families in need. There may be families in our neighborhoods who cannot afford to celebrate Christmas with gifts, or who cannot even provide a meal for themselves or their family. We can help by reaching out to them in love. We can prepare a little extra food and take them Christmas dinner, or we can play the role of Secret Santa and deliver food and gifts to their door unaware. President Obama has said, “If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
Let us all help to light the world this Christmas season by serving those in need!