“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (Matthew 5:7, The Message)
My grandparents have always been formative to my faith. They would take in and care for sick friends, family, or church members. Meals would be prepared and made before being taken to someone who just got home from the hospital. They would regularly visit neighbors who were homebound. And it was no surprise to anyone when they invited someone who was not able to be with their family at Christmas to our family Christmas breakfast. And the list could easily go on.
They have always been full of care for others.
“I am the Lord, and I do not change; and you, children of Jacob, have not perished.” (Malachi 3:6, Common English Bible)
From Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”:
We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.
God does not change.
“Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15b, NRSV)
One summer while in youth ministry, I had two different students have someone close to them pass away. For one student it was his grandfather, whom he was very close to who died right before the youth group went on the trip. The other student lost her father unexpectedly during the week.
I was a college student and had only been doing this youth ministry thing for a few years. There were no seminary classes yet completed that would have prepared me.
“The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’. . . . Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’” (John 1:43, 45, NRSV)
When Megan and I first moved to Tidewater, we faced the challenge that so many people face when they move to a new area. Where do we take the car for repairs? What doctor should we use for our child? What restaurants should we avoid?
We asked around and people were happy to share their recommendations for auto shops, doctors, and restaurants.