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?
People will sacrifice hours of every week to prepare for a 20 minute worship service at church. Have you stopped to consider how much time we could give to prepare a single Christmas musical for nursing home? They are God’s special people and an investment in sharing the love of Christ pays eternal dividends!
As we begin to prepare for the Christmas
program at Allied Skilled Nursing I am reminded that we are in a battle. At a recent holiday banquet to which many of us volunteers were invited we listened to a local choir sing almost 20 songs without a single mention of Jesus Christ.
While I am not militantly opposed to singing Jingle bells or White Christmas I see that we are in a struggle to keep the focus of the Christ of Bethlehem. People will have more than enough opportunity to hear about snowmen, the Grinch and Santa from everyone else. We have this one time of the year to point to the light of the world, who was born in Bethlehem.
We are given the greatest privilege to honor Jesus in telling again the story of His birth. So yes organizing a program is never easy. Chasing people around and competing for their time at the holidays is a challenge. But all our efforts are worth it because we have the privilege one more time to present the story of God”s great love for the world. We have one more chance to get in the battle for Christmas and to celebrate the Savior of the world.
Matthew 2:2 …“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”