A Christmas Message

This past week I headed out on some communion calls… taking the gifts of God to those who can’t be part of our celebrations with us in worship in these next hours. First I knelt with Hazel in the hallway outside the dining room at the nursing home which has been her residence these last several years.  Next I caught up with Verina and her daughter in the lobby — she was on her way to an appointment.  Together we formed a quiet circle in that busy place and shared the bread and wine together. Finally, I made my way to the other end of the nursing home to find Ruth sitting in her room.  She complained of being cold, so we adjusted the two afghans wrapped around her as we tried to cover her feet as well. 
Ruth is not always the easiest person for me to call on as her dementia makes it so that she doesn’t seem to always remember me.  Only I’ve been told Ruth had an amazing voice and so this time I thought to begin by asking her what her favorite Christmas Carols are.  When she looked at me blankly I suggested, “How about “Away in a Manger?””  And Ruth, in a voice mostly untouched by her 99 years, began to sing this song I expect she has sung since she was a little girl. 
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
The little Lord Jesus, laid down his sweet head;
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

 

She didn’t quite have all the words but you could hear in her voice her love of this story which still lives in her heart.  From there, we went on to sing a few others until she paused and looked at me and said, ‘You know, if I could have one more job, I would like to preach.”   And so I asked, “What would you preach?”  Pausing a moment she said, ‘God loves you…and that’s about it.”  And then before we shared the sacrament we also sang “Jesus Loves Me.”
God loves you… and that’s about it.
And so with Ruth this Christmas Eve, I offer the only message that really matters:
God loves you.  And that is it.  And that is everything.
May the blessings of Christmas be yours in abundance this year and always!

3 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Janet, for a wonderful spirit filled Christmas message!! Those in the some of the loneliest places truely know the real message of this holy season. Thanks for all you do in sharing the Word of God with all of us! Susan

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