Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Hebrews 2:14-16 NLT
It is just a few days since the election. My wife and I worked 14 hours at the polling place and had the privilege of seeing Democracy in action. People who voted as we did and those who chose the other candidates came in. Folks who were way richer than us and those who had little filled out their ballots. At the end of the day, we went home, had a snack and watched a little of the coverage, hoping for our personal choices to win. This year many of the races are taking a while to be decided, but the best part of it all is that Jesus was not up for reelection. His term will never expire, and He is still on the throne! Since it was Veterans Day today, we took the time to thank the many veterans, now in their twilight years who live at Life Care Center. They gave their best to help protect our freedoms, but there is a Veteran who gave far more. He is the general of the armies of Heaven and His name is Jesus. He gave His life to give us the greatest freedom of all – Freedom from the fear of death! Now, He invites everyone who will put their trust in Him to come and join Him at the victory banquet. Come and Dine – the Master calleth – Come and Dine! I hope you like our little song session today from Life Care Center. If you are a veteran, we give you our thanks and appreciation. Have a blessed weekend 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
I am posting today’s video not to impress anyone with my teaching at the nursing home but to impress on anyone willing to go; how simple it is to share the hope of Christ in a few minutes. Jesus gave us a great commission but at nursing home it needs to be short and to the point! Please be patient with the quality of the recording as it was done by one of our recreational aides who volunteered at the last minute to run the camera.
This is a ministry that anyone who is willing can do. Your willingness to press on through difficulties, sometimes frustrating slowness in seeing responses and the sorrow of unexpected farewells can lead to a rich harvest for Jesus Christ. We are now approaching our 24th year in ministry at Allied Skilled nursing home. There are three services each week in the various wards reaching between 70 -80 residents each week. It is all volunteer. I am deeply grateful to the staff who willingly and eagerly encourage people to come each week. I am also thankful for our dedicated group of youth volunteers who help put together a special program at Easter, Christmas and during their Summer Vacation. May God inspire you to realize that you can do this too. The harvest really is ripe and God is calling each of us to labor in the vineyard where He has called us. For more detailed questions please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or browse our Youtube archives. You will find help in putting together holiday programs, encouraging singing and serving communion among many other short videos. God bless as you do you best for Him! If you say yes to God’s call to nursing home ministry then I ask you what Jesus once asked me, “Would you do it for one?”