A Heart for the Homebound

One of the most beautiful characteristics of the Christian heart, especially during the Christmas season, is the expression of compassion. Whether it’s the urge we feel to put spare change in the red bucket outside the grocery store, or the impulse to assist our neighbor struggling to put up his holiday lights, the Christian is constantly motivated towards helping others in need. This kind of sympathy could be attributed to our application of what theologians call God’s “common grace.” The desire to help others in need can be an attribute that belongs even to unbelievers because God, in His grace, has granted to everyone a sense that there should be more to life than merely seeking one’s own needs. Yet, for the believer in Jesus Christ, this heart of compassion is tied to so much more than common grace because our compassion is rooted in the uncommon grace that has been lavished on us in salvation.

The Christian is commanded in Romans 12:15 to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” and in 1 Peter 3:8 to “have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” But the clearest reason for this type of kindness is expressed in Ephesians 4:32 where Paul writes, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” The believer’s sympathy toward others arises not just from a general morality which every person possesses as an image-bearer, but specifically and especially from knowing the forgiveness given to us through our Savior. We are to be, even more than the world around us, compelled by a heart of compassion in light of the immeasurable grace granted to us by God. In the New Testament, we see that such a heart of kindness is especially characteristic of believers toward each other in the church.

This Christmas season, we ask that you and your family consider expressing this kindness in particular to the homebound at Grace Church—members who are prevented from being with us in regular worship for various reasons beyond their control. During the month of December, we send notes and cards to these dear members to remind them that we care about and are praying for them during the Christmas season.

Join us by taking some time in the coming weeks to make or write Christmas cards with your own creative touch to one or more of the members listed in the December 12, 2021 Grace Today. Cards from children also make a precious contribution, making this a great ministry opportunity for the whole family. Hand your cards in at the Office Center through December 17, and we’ll deliver these special messages of encouragement directly to our homebound saints.

As simple as it might seem, letting our fellow believers know that we care about them and are praying for them can encourage and strengthen them in a unique way as we celebrate Christ as a church this season.