Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges, and today is Thursday so it’s the day we try to put into action what we’ve been learning all week. In continuation of our series called “Reset,” we’ve been seeing how Jesus resets our views of compassion from something that we do for personal gain, whatever it might be – political gain or giving volunteer hours or just because it feels like something we’re supposed to do – to something that we do because of Jesus, because Jesus has shown compassion to us and because Jesus loves others and wants compassion to be shown to them, as well, and through His followers here on earth. We saw yesterday how we are sent to engage with those who are hurting and harassed and helpless in our world and show compassion in Jesus’ name.

So what are some practical ways we can do this? Well, there are many and I’m going to challenge you at the end of the day to try something for the next few weeks. We’re in a time that the church has traditionally called Lent, the forty days before Easter, minus some Sundays, and that’s been a time that Christians have traditionally tried to refocus their efforts of following Jesus, tried to give something up in order to focus more on God. What I would encourage you to do is not to just give something up but to pick up something new – compassionate service to others. That’s going to look different in each context. I’m going to suggest a few things that Redeem the Commute is involved in but you’re going to find ways that you can personally show compassionate service to others in your own context as well.

Some of the ways you can get involved right now in Redeem the Commute’s efforts to show compassion to others include an even that we’re sponsoring in May. It’s called Running for Home and another new church starting in Whitby sponsors this race every year and we’re one of their church sponsors who help them put on the event and it’s a run that raises money for Habitat for Humanity. Maybe you’re familiar with them; they build homes for those who might not be able to have a home any other way. You can obviously show compassionate service by getting involved in Habitat, helping build a home or by raising money by being part of the Running for Home race or you could volunteer with Redeem the Commute in helping make the event happen.

Now,  Redeem the Commute also offers some direct compassionate service to people in our community. We run a few major events and the formula we seem to have at all our events is that we do something fun and family related, that we make sure we are showing generosity and care to others like we’ve collected food bank donations and toy drive donations, and also that we always include the reason we do it – the Gospel. We’re going to be using that again in planning an Easter event soon. If you’d like to be part of planning that event, and showing compassionate service to others through it, get in touch with me. I’d love to have you as part of our team as we bring together what looks to be a really fun event this Easter. We also have opportunities to get involved at the event. If you’d like to come and just enjoy the event you’ll have an opportunity to give and serve others through that, just like our other events.

Now, these events cost money and so one way you can show compassionate service to people in our community is by supporting Redeem the Commute. Our mobile ap and website directly help people’s marriages and parenting skills when they’re under a lot of stress from the busy lifestyle of commuters.  Or, you can support us in order to support some of these events that we put on. At our Christmas event, we calculated it cost about ten dollars a family to host and so you can find ways to support us in putting on our Easter event, as well. Watch for information coming out soon on how much it costs per family and how you can sponsor a family in enjoying our event.

I mentioned food banks earlier that we’ve supported in the past and a food bank is a great way to show compassionate service to others. If you live in Whitby, there’s the Deacon’s Cupboard at All Saint’s church. If you live in Ajax, there’s the Salvation Army Hope Community Church and if you live in Pickering, there’s the St. Paul’s on the Hill Pickering Food Bank. All these are great ways to directly give compassionate service to others in our community who might be hungry.

And, finally, you’re probably aware personally of those you meet every day, who might seem risky, but who you’re called, by Jesus, to serve with compassionate care. Find a way bless them in some way; bring them some food, bring them some baking. Ask if you can help them shovel their driveway or clean up from the ice storm.  Whatever it is you’re probably aware of something they’re struggling with and a way you can help as a follower of Jesus even if they never know it’s coming from you.

Challenge: So your challenge for this week is to intentionally commit, during the next few weeks leading up to Easter, to show some kind of weekly or daily rhythm of compassionate service. Find something you can do each week, or something you can do each day, that will bless and serve others simply because Jesus loves them like He loves you.

Have a great one. Or discuss maybe with your group how your going to put this challenge into practice and don’t forget we’re reading the Bible in sync as a community so check our website now to see what today’s reading is. Bye for now.

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