And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10 ESV
If you walk around our neighborhood any time after Halloween, you are sure to spot half a dozen homes already putting out their Christmas displays. Sadly, the couple who put out the best displays of all, could no longer continue, due to advancing age and medical conditions. But in past years, Bill and Rose would already begin setting up an enormous train set and scale model town inside their garage by the first week of October. There were churches and firehouses, bridges and tunnels to put together. It all took a lot of preparation. Putting together a Christmas presentation for our local nursing homes deserves the best preparation we can give it. This is the one time out of the entire year when we are not only able but welcomed to share the “good news of great joy that will be for all people.” Here in part two, we’re going to look at some practical steps in having a program ready.
!) Get on the Calendar (we covered this last week) if you still haven’t gotten this done, I urge you to do so as soon as possible. The holiday schedule at a facility fills up fast and early.
2) Get song books ready -I use the most colorful 3 ring binders I can find at the dollar store. Then I select 10-12 familiar Christmas Carols, decide on an order and place each song in a plastic sheet protector. My own book includes a couple of songs which I sing as specials as well as a few extra songs for those times when people plead, “Come on sing some more!”
3) Get Volunteers! – Everyone thinks it’s a great idea to sing carols. The rubber meets the road, when you send out the exact dates and times which you have scheduled with your facilities. It is vital to know who you can count on because that is a time of year that people travel, get invited to parties or have family come in to stay with them. I have gone in with kids from Sunday school, teens from the youth group as well as Seniors from our Bible study. There is no “right group”. What matters is who is available in your circle of influence.
If all this planning seems like a lot, remember that the message of eternal salvation, forgiveness and peace on earth is worth our best efforts. Don’t over organize your program into a stage performance, but do pour your very best efforts into presenting the love of Jesus to as many as you can at the wonderful time of the year!