Usually, at the end of December and the beginning of January, I would be conducting Christmas and New Year's services at the local Long Term Care Centre. They were not always held on the twenty-fifth of December or on the first of January. Some years, they were on a day or two before or after, depending on my involvement in church activities, and on the events planned at the home. Greta always went with me to ably lead the singing, and, almost always, a friend from our church came to play the piano.
The services were always well attended — by most of the residents, as well as some of their relatives and friends from the community. Some members from our church also came on different occasions. We used to sing the beautiful Christmas carols and read an appropriate Bible passage or two. We always had a great time of worship together. This has been happening for the last twenty years, but not at this time.
At one of the previous New Year's services, I talked about the fact that God will watch over us, based mostly on the story of Jacob as he stood at the beginning of a new period in his life. You may recall that he was the younger of a set of twins. His brother Esau was just a bit older and therefore entitled to the birthright of the firstborn. But through treachery, Jacob received the firstborn's blessing.
As Jacob feared for his life, his mother thought that it would be wise for him to leave home for a while. While he was sleeping during that first night in the desert, he had a dream in which he heard God speaking to him:
Genesis 28:15a – Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go. (NKJV)
I conveyed this assurance to the people in the Long Term Centre. Some of them suffer in a physical or mental way, while some are at loose ends, worrying as to what might happen to them. We, too, need this assurance, always, and especially now during these days of uncertainty.
This past year-end, we were not able to go for these services, since the home is closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 virus situation. We have not been there for almost a year. We miss seeing and visiting with the residents, and we are told by a staff member that they miss us as well.
None of us has any idea what will happen to us in 2021. We have no idea what lies in store for us, but there is one thing that we can be sure of: if we walk in His ways and live according to His will, He will be with us and watch over us, wherever we are and wherever we go.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we are so grateful that even during the most difficult times in our lives, we have the assurance that You are always with us. We thank You in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Hallelujah Chorus" (Lyrics)