And she will have a son and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins Matthew 1:32
O I hate the word program! Christmas is not a program and is more than just a religious holiday. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity that God has given us these 2000 years to tell again the story of His great love in sending His Son. We had that opportunity again at Allied Skilled services on Wednesday night this week. This year we were challenged by schedules, sickness and just the normal teen stuff but God brought it all together and used our youth to be a Christmas blessing once more. The large room at the nursing home was filled most of the way back and after we sang we spent another 10-15 minutes hugging, shaking hands and saying Merry Christmas to each one.
I am posting this not to say how wonderful we are here but to encourage you that if you have not yet tried to do this in your own community it is not too late. Nursing Home residents and similar institutions pass Christmas with very few visitors. Though their staffs try to cheer things up with decorations the decorations can’t give a hug, sing a song or hold their hands. That is what God gives us the chance to do more at this time of year than ever!
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NLT
I have already over heard some of my friends and acquaintances gleefully stating that their Christmas shopping is now done or almost finished. We also make plans to give the best we can for those we love. It is a special way to remember the greatest gift ever given; God’s only Son. But as we approach Christmas “Would You Do It For One?” ministry is asking for you to give a radical Christmas gift. But you don’t need to worry, no one is asking for you to send money.
We are asking for you to consider two things. First; according to the U.S government’s most recent statistics there were 1.4 million people living in long-term care facilities in 2014. From the same sources we learn that over 60% of those residents will not receive a single visit from a family member or friend over the entire year. To put it differently: 840,000 nursing home residents may not have even one person to wish them a Merry Christmas.
But you could make a difference! You could become the person to make that statistic – 840,000 minus one! You could give an extravagant and over the top gift. You can give a few hours of your life to some one in a nursing home who has been forgotten by their friends. I can not promise you any reward but the knowledge that you are giving your best for Him. What more radical Christmas giving could there be this year?