I just got back from taking a group from our church Christmas caroling. We went to visit some of the elderly in our church family. We took them cookies and Christmas cards and, of course, sang Christmas carols. Besides enjoying the fellowship, there were several things that made this an amazing event for me personally:
- Their neighbors stood outside and listened as we sang. I can only wonder what opportunities that may open up for the people we visited to share the gospel with their neighbors. I can imagine an over-the-fence conversation of, "Who were those people?" blossoming into a wonderful expression of the greatness and goodness of God.
- Everyone who went caroling enjoyed it. It's impossible to be grumpy and minister to people at the same time, especially when you're singing.
- All of the elderly people we visited expressed great appreciation. This is why I'm writing this post. We have a responsibility to love those who are a part of the family of faith. We have the privilege to reach out and serve people like this who often just need someone to stop by and bring a plate of cookies and chat for a few minutes. One lady said, "I was just lying in bed feeling sorry for myself." Our visit to her changed her whole evening and gave her a fresh glimpse of the compassion and love that a church ought to demonstrate.
So the burning question in my heart now is, What more can we do for the elderly, for the widows, for the men and women in our church who may need little more than a compassionate conversation? How can we help them more often? Will we visit them only at Christmas? What can we do to show the kind of familial love that we ought to be expressing to this precious group of people?
And those are not rhetorical questions.