And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20 ESV
The possibilities of nursing home ministry begin to be realized as more people get involved in helping. Just as the shepherds were invited to join in on spreading the good news, so today there is no better time to get have them come than the holidays. What a blessing it was this past Sunday to have Three families join our Christmas program. We not only sang carols, but we were also able to serve communion and give out gifts and cards (and all in 35-40 minutes!). I am grateful for the turnout of both residents and volunteers. Please pray for us today as we head to a facility where we have been, except to visit a friend. Joy to the world is a message for everyone. This Christmas gives us the opportunity to expand that field of everyone, to one more senior community! Have a blessed week all!
Now that you have your dates and your volunteers lined up, it is time to consider your presentation. Yes, it is nice to sign up to sing carols and of course those who you sing for will appreciate your efforts, no matter how professionally done. But now it is time to ask yourself what goals you have. If those are just to check off the box marked, “Did a good deed” or if it arises from mere pity for those in nursing care, then it will not matter much how you present your program. However, if you hope to bring the message, that God sent Jesus to be born in Bethlehem as the Savior of the world, then presentation matters a great deal. Let’s take a look at the wise men again as we lay out our plans before God and consider how they went about their famous journey.
1) Pick Your Treasure – Just as the wise men didn’t stop at the nearest shopping mall as they were about to enter Jerusalem, we need to carefully pick our songs. I make up song books so that everyone will have the words in front of them, even for the most familiar of songs
2) Plan Your Journey – The wise men may not have known that Bethlehem would be their final destination, but they did know approximately how far they needed to go. This part includes not only how many songs, but also a short, interesting and Bible centered Christmas message. This may seem obvious, but stop and ask yourself, - when was the last time you saw a Hallmark Christmas movie that had anything to do with Jesus? There is almost nothing in our current culture that tells anyone that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. Even less mentioned is the fact that God’s Son was named Jesus because as the angel told Joseph, “He came to save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
3) Present Your Worship – At the end of their journey the Bible tells us that the wise men bowed and worshiped. This moment at the end of your program may be the most important 60 seconds of some one’s life. Here as we finish is our opportunity to ask people to give their hearts to Jesus, just as the wise men gave their gifts. This is what Christmas is all about. If we leave our people with nice Christmas cards, boxes of candy and warm hugs, but fail to give them the message of Jesus we will have failed. Let’s ask God to help us to share His message in such a way as to touch hearts and leave them with the love of Jesus this Christmas.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy, that will be for all the people, Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 NIV
This was my first Christmas at Life Care Center since we just moved three months ago to Florida. What a blessing it has been to get involved right away in this community. Our small team went in and sang for two groups of residents today. Of course the Hipaa laws prohibit us from showing any […]
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?