And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 KJV
Saturday there is a neighborhood Christmas get-together or maybe it will be breakfast with Santa at the church. Then there are the kids coming the following week-end with the grandchildren just before that Christmas caroling at the nursing home. Wow! If you are anything like me your schedule is busy so then why should we even consider packing in nursing home ministry on top of everything else?
Every Wednesday we receive a copy of a local paper that we do pay for, do not like and rarely read. In fact every home in our neighborhood gets a copy tossed into our driveways. The owner of that newspaper is determined that everyone in our community will receive a copy of the news. Our good news about Christmas is for all kinds of people: not just our family, our friends or our church. God’s good news need not be just for people who are waiting for the morning delivery, It is also for those who least expect it.
Because Christmas is about Good News for all people we should always remember those who need good news the most in our community. Statistics tell us that 70% of nursing home residents will not receive a visit from friends or family members even at Christmas. But statistics can not tell you of the tears of joy flowing down faces of people when you bring even the tiniest bit of the love of God during this Christmas season. They will leave a mark like indelible ink on your soul.
Last we need to consider Christmas as the ideal moment because Jesus loves to enter where the doors are open. He wasn’t welcome in the palace of Herod. He wasn’t born in the nicest home in Bethlehem. In fact even the worst hotel in town had no occupancy for our Savior. But in a manger with cattle and sheep he was given a place and there shepherds, wise men and Mary and Joseph worshiped and wondered at the birth of our Lord!
So why should we consider nursing home ministry this Christmas? Maybe the best question of all might be – why not?
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!
I am posting this video again this year as I am struck by the reality of how difficult it is to for people to realize the vital need of nursing home ministry especially at the holiday times. Visiting and encouraging the residents is not just something extra or a nice gesture of the church. Even less is a holiday visit primarily about going home with a warm feeling. The absence of loved ones and of the care of a church family is so stark at Christmas and Thanksgiving that it cold be compared to the air some people receive through their breathing assistance. Without that correct ,ix of oxygen they receive through the device they will suffer terribly. The need for love, companionship, prayer and fellowship is constant and especially so at this time of year. If we allow Him, God will give us a portion of His great love to share. There is no better time to begin thinking of Nursing Home outreach than at Christmas. For more information on getting started in nursing home ministry you can check out our extensive list of video teaching on our Youtube channel. Be blessed and be a blessing!
I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me Matthew 25:43