Read James 2:14-18                          —Deuteronomy 15:11 (NRSV)

Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land."

After the worship service in the small rural church, the two dozen worshipers moved into an adjoining room for coffee and snacks. Although I was a visitor, I knew one man by reputation. Many of my meals-on-wheels recipients spoke glowingly of Clarence, a man who volunteers with others in the church to deliver non-perishable food, firewood and propane to them when their need is great but funds are low.

I watched 80-year-old Clarence move briskly about the room and once he settled at a table I joined him. When I expressed my admiration and gratitude for what he did in the community, he shrugged. "I’m just an old man, but I hope to keep doing this for a while. Maybe I’ll retire when I’m 90."

Regardless of age, few of us can match the stamina and giving spirit of Clarence, but we can all watch the opportunities to show God’s love to others. Whatever we do for others in the name of Jesus—a prayer, a kind word, an offer to assist with a simple task, a gift from our garden—is pleasing to God.

Prayer—Gracious God, help us to recognize ways that we can serve others in our community. Amen.

Thought for the Day—I will do what I can, then trust God to do the rest.

Robert E. Boertien (Oregon)