It goes without saying that nothing about this upcoming holiday season seems normal. Instead of allowing the natural excitement of meeting with family and friends to grow as the days draw near, we’ve been told that our holiday gatherings must be met with cautious trepidation. The nightly news anchors warn that our Thanksgiving get-togethers must be limited in number, reduced in time, and constrained in proximity towards those we love. Turkey is allowed, but gloves are required. Everything seems strangely surreal to us as we attempt to enjoy one of God’s most beautiful expressions of His common grace through a mask between bites. It begins to seem as if we’ve been invited to be “alone together.”
Yet, one unexpected side effect of this season’s restrictions is the new empathy we’ve had the opportunity to experience for our homebound members at Grace Church. Perhaps for the first time ever, we are beginning to see what it is like to be limited in visitation and distanced from those we love. It’s as if the Lord is granting us a glimpse into the daily life of those who have been experiencing a shut-down now for many years. What began only a few months ago for most of us has been a daily reality for our homebound members for a myriad of reasons beyond their control.
Sometimes our members are homebound because their health has worsened or an accident has occurred; sometimes the natural process of aging has gradually limited their ability to move about or drive. Either way, these dear brothers and sisters in Christ have been living through their own personal lockdown for a very long time. Their holidays are always limited in number, reduced in time, and constrained in proximity towards those they love.
This holiday season, we want to ask you to use this new-found empathy by reaching out to our homebound members in a special way. Because many times their families have passed on or moved away, we want to encourage each of you to send holiday cards to those listed in the space below. You don’t have to know them personally to share the love of Christ with them through what you write. You could make it a family project by creating your own personal Thanksgiving and Christmas cards, or you could send professionally made cards with a handwritten prayer for them inside. Either way, it would be a simple way to make a big impact in their lives.
All you have to do seal the cards in their envelope with the recipient’s name written on the outside (as if you were mailing it yourself), bring them to our campus receptionist on Sunday (or during the week), and our pastoral care folks will add the appropriate address (and a stamp) to make sure it makes it to them this season. As simple as it might be, these cards are a beautiful way to say, let’s celebrate Christ together!