But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
Often lost in the whole pro-life/ pro-choice debate is the heart of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the defender of life but we must not be so focused on life beginning at conception; that we forget it doesn’t end at birth. In God’s eyes; life is not only about its opening chapter, but also about its closing lines. The same Savior, who writes down the name of every child in His book also offers to carry each of us in His arms to the very end. Where we stand on the issue of life is not only about what we say, but more importantly is about what we do. How we chose to invest our time and hearts in the lives of others will reap returns for all eternity. What better pro-life statement can we make than to serve the real people in our own small corner of this world from conception to their final breath?
Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. Luke 1: 13 We often forget as we read Luke chapter one about the life of John the Baptist’s parents, that God was concerned for the needs of this elderly couple. Maybe in old age they had all but forgotten their prayer for children, but God had not. God had heard their prayer. God was still working on the answer. They didn’t have to follow some special formula. Zacharias and Elizabeth simply needed to remain faithful to what God had given them to do. In the same way we who have grown older without seeing the answer to things for which we have prayed can be encouraged that God also remembers us. Neither age nor weakness alters the power of God to answer prayer . It doesn’t matter how many years pass, if we are praying something in God’s will for our lives He hears us. He delights in answering the prayers of we who the community and sometimes sadly even the church consider past our time of usefulness. But the good news is that we are never out of warranty! Miracles can still happen because God never gives up, never forgets and never forsakes us. Don’t be afraid. He has heard your prayer!
Caligiuri, Peter (2018-03-07). Reflections of Hope (p. 3). Kindle Edition.
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Luke 12:7 ESV
Joan* (not her real name) sits in the corner of the room in her wheel chair with a smile. She cannot make cookies any longer for the grandchildren. Joan will not go to choir practice or sing in the Easter pageant this year. In the harsh viewpoint of the world, Joan’s is a useless life. But when God looks down He sees a happy child who gave joy to her parents. He remembers a loving wife, a wise mother and a caring neighbor. Most of all God has engraved on His heart the very moment Joan gave her life to Him and today after more than 80 years it is still His. So when Jesus walks by her in the wheel chair He stops and delightedly gives her all His attention. Because in Joan Jesus sees not a life that is useless but a life that has been well lived and loved by God!
The pond is still warm enough to swim in and the willows have not even thought about turning to their Fall yellow wardrobe but it is not to early to begin planning your Thanksgiving program for nursing home!
Moms and Dads, Grampas and Grammas and yes even some sons and daughters will not be spending Thanksgiving with family because they are in long term skilled nursing care. Whatever the reason
they can not be with their own family, there is no reason in the universe that we can not plan on being a part of God’s family for them this year.
A) The first step is to right now go to your recreation department director and get on her or his busy calendar. It is never too early to reserve a day that will work best for you and your church team to go.
B) Spend time praying and then planning the best presentation you can put together. If you were doing for a program for your church you would do no less than your best. Consider investing in materials such as song books, costumes, or decorations. One big hit with our local nursing home is the cookies that the youth hand out after the program!
C) Assemble your team (even if that is just 2-3) and begin to practice-practice-practice what you have decided together to do. Plan on a program of about 20 – 25 minutes maximum. Whatever more time you have after doing your music, skits and devotional should be given to personal visiting. The more our team has been going back over these last few years, the more the nursing home residents begin to remember their names and faces. Some of our most shy team members are the biggest hits among residents. We have many materials available for you to use including, workbooks, guides and a variety of true stories to inspire you long your own ministry journey.
Here is a short video giving a few of the basics that may help you to prepare