The nativity story is full of practical examples of Christian generosity and kindness. The innkeeper, who welcomed Mary and Joseph when everyone else turned them away, is an excellent example of Christmas goodwill in action. Contrasting the innkeeper's behavior with the jealousy and cruelty of Herod inspires many Christians during Advent. Below, you can find ideas for how to be an innkeeper and not a Herod this Christmastime.
An excellent way to follow the innkeeper's generous example this Advent is to offer your time to those who need it. Being present and available to provide emotional support and company to friends, family and other members of your assisted living community is a simple and effective way to realize Jesus' message of the importance of giving.
However, you could also consider volunteering your time to a local good cause to spread Jesus' love to those who need it the most. Many charities require more volunteers than usual at Christmastime to provide vital practical and spiritual support for vulnerable and disadvantaged community members. If you're able to volunteer in person, you can look for a suitable local opportunity using the nationwide VolunteerMatch database.
If you prefer to help others from the comfort of your assisted living apartment, there are plenty of virtual volunteering opportunities available. Virtual volunteering allows you to carry out important tasks for various charities and non-profits over the internet. Points of Light is a website that helps connect virtual volunteers with good causes, and you can find a wide variety of roles such as tutoring and mentoring.
As the Christmas excitement ramps up, it's all too easy to forget the true meaning behind the celebrations. Taking time to appreciate the miracle of Christ's birth and his gifts to us is a great way to refocus your attention on faith over Advent. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to regain spiritual focus in your family home or assisted living apartment.
Many Christians find it helpful to have a visual prompt in their homes to remind them to pray and make time for God. Displaying a nativity scene somewhere prominent is a comfortingly traditional and meaningful way to ensure you never forget the reason for the season. You can purchase a wide range of beautiful nativity scenes online or from Christian outlets. However, you may wish to consider enlisting visiting grandchildren to help you craft a homemade nativity scene, which is the perfect springboard for discussing the true meaning of Christmas with the next generation.
Attending a Christmas church service or another religious event is also an excellent way to refocus on faith during the festive season. Be sure to check what events are scheduled at your church or local cathedral and add them to your Christmas planner. The residents at any of the assisted living communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella might also ask the on-site chaplain what worship activities are taking place in the community throughout advent.
Just as the innkeeper shared his stable with Mary and Joseph when they were in need, Christians can also share their blessings with those that need it over advent. Donating to a Christian charity is a lovely way to help spread Jesus' message of goodwill to all and assist projects that improve the lives of vulnerable people across the world.
Compassion is a Christian charity that focuses on supporting children in poverty. It provides much-needed practical and spiritual resources to children in need, from Bibles and livestock to water cleaning equipment. You can purchase a gift for a child's community to suit your budget or participate in the charity's Gift Share scheme, which collects smaller donations from multiple people to fund a higher-cost item like an academic scholarship or vital surgery. You can also purchase honor cards instead of a present for a loved one to donate a gift in their name.
The Prison Fellowship Angel Tree Christmas project is another worthy Christian cause that helps nurture and support children with at least one incarcerated parent. It uses donations to provide gifts to vulnerable children and help strengthen the bond with their incarcerated family member. Each child is also given a copy of the Bible to allow them to gain a deeper understanding of God's love. Prison Fellowship is an excellent cause to support all year round because it provides churches with vital resources to look after the practical and spiritual needs of the families they support.
There is a well-known story in Matthew 9:10 where Matthew invited people who did not yet know Jesus to dine with him and hear him speak. Christians can follow this example by being generous with their hospitality over advent and share food and company with others. Whether your visitors are Christians or not, extending your hospitality is an excellent way to demonstrate the Christian value of giving in action.
Therefore, you may wish to consider arranging a festive gathering at your family home or assisted living apartment this Christmastime. This gives you an opportunity to relax and enjoy time with loved ones and discuss your faith openly with others. Spending time with others can also help to alleviate loneliness and isolation, which can become more of a problem as the weather gets colder.