He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, Luke 24:6
Awesome is the best word I could use to describe the Easter program this year at Allied Nursing Home. Every one of our young people gave it their best. The residents were deeply moved and there were plenty of tears mixed in with their smiles. I am thankful for the small but dedicated staff who transported 30 people or so down to the dining room and then back up to the various floors. But this post is not about how we did; as much as it is an encouragement to you that nursing home outreach is both a blessing and is very do-able in your own community.
For those of you thinking about beginning or extending a nursing home outreach here are three thoughts – Planning – Prayer -Preparation
Planning is easy to do but is most often overlooked. Maybe the importance of planning in ministry is under estimated because it just doesn’t seem very spiritual. But looking ahead at your calendar, asking people in advance if they would be willing to help and checking what resources your group will give you a clear outline of the challenges ahead.
I confess that Prayer is something I often forget. Oh yes I do pray at home but I am ashamed of how often I rush in with my plans and personal energy forgetting that only prayer binds us together with God and one another. This year I started off the same way but as our first practice time began chaotically I realized how desperately we needed to pray. If we wanted to be able to share the Easter message of Hope in a way that would touch people’s hearts only God could make that happen. No amount of planning substitutes for the blessing of God. When we linked hands in prayer as an expression of our dependence on Jesus Christ He stepped into our circle and began bringing all the pieces together for His glory.
We can plan and even pray but without preparation we will not be doing our part of what God has for us to do. Preparation is just another word for commitment. Preparation is commitment played out over a period of time. We prepared for seven weeks for our 25 minute program. Sometimes only half of our people showed up. I had to learn to be more flexible with and ask what the youth thought about the various parts of our program. But through it all everything, our young people stuck with it, pulled together and did their best. When the night came for telling again the story of Easter they were ready. The song we opened with talks about the story of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus. It is just 7 days vefore the cross and Jesus tells the crowd it is in preparation for his burial. As the nursing home residents expectantly filled up the dining room that night those opening words perfectly mirrored my own feeling.
“As the people filled the hall Mary trembled at the door
Holding tight the fragile jar that held her treasure store”
We were holding our treasure store of the love of Jesus Christ in the fragile jars of our lives hoping to have the chance to once again pour it out on His feet. I would invite you to be ready to pour out your own treasure stores of God’s love in nursing homes in your own city or small town. The opportunity that lies outside of our church doors is to reach the weakest and most vulnerable of our communities with the love of Jesus Christ. For more information about nursing home ministry you can view any of the 20 or more videos on my Youtube channel – PastorPete51 – or contact me directly by email @ revpete51@gmail,com God bless you as we work together to reach the Least of these!
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did itto one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40