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Holidays give opportunities for help
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Whether we realize it or not, there are needs all around us. There are people who find themselves at the mercy of others in getting their needs met. Some need little assistance while other's issues are more complicated and may need more long-term help.

There is a story in Scripture where the disciples of Jesus saw a great need that involved thousands of people — 5,000 men, not including women and children. They had been assisting Jesus in his ministry to this large group of people when sometime late in the day they realized that because of the late hour, the people hadn't had a chance to eat. Their solution was to dismiss the people and hope that they could somehow find food to buy at such a late hour.

Jesus's solution was found in his response to them when he said, "You give them something to eat." In other words, you take on the responsibility to meet this great need. This task was beyond the capability of these few disciples. But because of their obedience, Jesus went on to perform the great miracle we know as "the feeding of the 5,000."

We come up with all kinds of excuses: Let someone else do it; they have more resources; or let the needy solve their own problems. We find examples of abuse and apply it to the mass. Or we expect God to do it and we decide to just pray. God could do it, but he won't because his plan is to work through his church to meet these needs.

These seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas give us opportunities to reach out in the name of Jesus to help meet the needs around us. We need to ask the Lord to help us work on our selfishness and to direct us where we can share.

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