Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
Individually we can work hard and accomplish a lot. But we are much better when we work together.
Invite the women to bring a dish to share. The corps could provide pink and blue cupcakes.
Decorate using a baby shower theme, with pink and blue tablecloths. Place a basket filled with baby care products at the front of the room and an empty basket on each table as a center piece.
Invite the women to bring baby products to fill the empty baskets on their table, which will be shared through Community Cares Ministry visits, through the social services office or mothers and children’s shelters. Our communities are stronger when we care for the most vulnerable.
As believers, we are called to show friendship with our neighbors. Reaching out to the lost or lonely with the love of Jesus is what being a friend is all about. A baby basket given to a new mother can bring hope and the assurance that she is not alone in raising her child. Baby baskets can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Remember, it is not about how the basket looks. It is the message behind it that they are not alone.
What Can I Do in My Community to Be of Help?
One of the most vulnerable groups in our communities is babies. Let’s support new moms with some helpful resources as they raise up the next generation. You can provide new moms or new baby kits as a service project to your local hospital. A simple basket of diapers, wipes, thermometer, receiving blankets, and a handwritten card of congratulations to the new mom can be a huge deal. Include body wash or lotion in the basket for the mom. Supporting the most vulnerable in our community is a great way to give back. We often think we have nothing to give, but that is not true. We are better together when supporting each other.
Have everyone draw a tic–tac–toe board on a piece of paper. Randomly write the name of a baby care product in each of the nine blanks. As the leader calls out baby items the participants can draw an X over the items listed. The first one to get three X’s in a row wins a prize. You can keep playing this game until you reach a “cover all” of the 9 boxes if you have enough prizes and time.
Ask the women to share a special memory of how someone helped them when they were a new mother. Maybe even sharing how difficult it was for them ask for help. As we want to be sensitive to those who do not have children, alter your sharing activity as needed. In those instances, ask the women how they could help a new mother even if she has not specifically asked for help.
Other Scripture Verses to Encourage New Mothers:
- “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
- “So, encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
- “For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb…” Psalms 139:13-15(NIV)
- “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
- “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10(NLT)
A Cord of Three Strands
When I was a teenager, I used to babysit a little girl who was furiously independent. Amy would often say to me, “Do self Stephy, do self.” I’m sure you can imagine the kinds of messes or mishaps we got into when I let her do everything herself. There were times she needed a little help, but was too stubborn to accept it. Eventually, she realized that in order to get what she wanted, she needed just a little help. It takes time for us to mature and develop all of the skills we need in life and often, we need a little help.
Oak trees takes 30-40 years before they begin to mature and produce acorn seeds. These seeds then grow into mighty trees that provide food for animals and resources for us. All of these tiny acorns from the one tree provide countless opportunities for use that we enjoy daily. In fact, oak trees provide support for more life–forms than any other trees in North America. The small acorn produces something mighty. In the Bible, we also see an example of strength in numbers.
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 says: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Oftentimes you and I feel the same as Amy, “Do self, do self.” We may have been led to falsely believe that accepting help is a sign of weakness or that we are less when we allow others to help us. However, the Lord made us to live in community and to be a blessing to each other. We see this example many times throughout the Bible. In Exodus 4 when Moses tells the Lord he is not eloquent and does not feel comfortable speaking to the people, God reminds him that he has his brother Aaron to help him out. In fact, God is irritated with Moses that he did not intend to use Aaron to help him. We have all kinds of people by our side that can be a blessing to us. We tire ourselves out and may even become resentful feeling as if God isn’t doing much to help us, when the answer has been right in front of us. He has given us our natural family as well as our spiritual family to help us in time of need. It is truly a blessing to us and those who step in to help. Everyone likes to feel seen and needed. When we overlook the gifts and strengths those around us have, we miss out. We are certainly better together.
Here’s a few hints for accepting and giving help:
- Don’t apologize for asking for help. People can always say no if they are not able to help.
- Make it personal; don’t ask via text or email. Call or speak to them face to face.
- Take a deep breath and relax, you are valuable and important and people love to give and help, they are just waiting to be asked.
- Instead of asking what do you need? Have a few ideas of what you can offer. When people are in crisis, their brain is not able to process problem-solving to fully know what’s most helpful, which could stress them out even more. For instance, I would love to mow your lawn for you for the next 2 weeks so you can heal from your surgery. I would love to pay for a babysitter or watch your children so you can get some rest.
- Don’t be offended if people refuse help, they may not be ready.
- Be a listening ear of compassion. Sometimes all people need is someone to talk to and listen to them.
Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of community. Thank you for creating us to be in relationship with You and with others and to give love to our neighbor. Lord, thank You for blessing us and help us to be a blessing to others. Amen.