Summer Acts of Service Reflections:
Acts 3:1-11: Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded!
They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.
This week, we are serving God’s creation at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter. They help vulnerable animals find the care and love that they need, as well as educating the public on ways they can help different animals in the county. We will be helping to serve these animals by creating homemade dog toys and collecting food and supplies to be donated.
God enables us to do incredible things through the Holy Spirit. One of the incredible things that we can do is serve the rest of God’s creation. When we serve others, we are “walking, leaping, and praising God” with one another. As God’s creation, we are all connected together through life with God and through worship. Recall a time where you gained more than you expected by serving creation.
General Reflection Questions:
- How are you caring for God’s creation? How, by serving, are your actions impacting creation?
- When you are serving this week, pay attention to how the service makes you feel. Acknowledge and name those feelings.
- What changes can you make to your lifestyle to better sustain and care for creation?
Reflection Questions for Families with Students:
- In this story, Peter and John changed the lame man’s life. How are your actions benefiting God's creation?
- When you see others serving, how does that make you feel? Do you feel motivated to take action? Take a moment to be present with those feelings.
- What can you do to bless creation around you?
- What is one of your favorite things about God's creation? Give thanks to God for that.
Reflection Questions for Families with Children:
- For parents, can you relate this story to how you teach your children? Do you see the benefits to teaching your children a skill instead of doing the task for them again and again?
- Talk to your children about an example of when they showed initiative to complete a task on their own, and how proud that made you and your child feel.
- What is a family goal you can set to educate yourselves or grow together in God's love, like traveling to local historical sites for hikes?
Prayer: God, we acknowledge that we are called to care for Your earth. We acknowledge that we are all intricately connected to everyone and everything around us. We acknowledge that we don’t always do the best job at caring for creation. This week help us to see Your beauty and wonder in every piece of Your creation. Increase my love and compassion for the earth and everything in it. Help me to be conscious of how my actions toward creation reflect directly on my love for You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.