I had the privilege in the week running up to Easter to lead a church service for a large group of elderly people.
They wandered into the building aided by walking frames and nursing staff. The look on most of their faces was one of confusion. This was an experience outside their normal routine.
These elderly people are normally brought by Anglicare staff to a day centre once a week for activities. Most of them have some form of dementia. They are all frail and find most of life’s routine tasks difficult to accomplish.
They come to be cared for by Christian people. They’re used to prayers and activities led by a chaplain. They know this is a Christian day centre. But to be brought into the church building was a new experience.
A few had a vague idea of what was going on. Some even expressed excitement as they came in, telling me they were Christians but didn’t get much opportunity to go to church any more. But because this was out of routine, all of them seemed to be lost at some level as they walked in. They were putting a lot of trust in the staff, trusting that they were being taken to somewhere safe.
We sang hymns and said prayers that brightened some faces with a glimmer of remembering something from a long time ago. I spoke on Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except by me.”
Some of these people were lost because they were out of routine. But even in the twilight of their lives, they could still hear some familiar words. Jesus is the way.
To the casual observer they looked lost. But the eye of faith could entrust them in their frailty to Jesus. Just as they trusted their carers, they could trust Jesus to show them the way to the Father.
What a privilege.
To be able to tell 50 or so lost souls that Jesus is the way. How much they understood, I don’t know.
But compassion has taught me that Jesus cares for the frail, the elderly, the lost. As a minister of the gospel I have the joy to speak about Jesus to a lost world every day.
You won’t build a congregation on these folk. You won’t raise a large sum of money for gospel work. But you do see lost souls coming within the sound of the gospel. And you pray that the Lord’s word will do its work in the lives of people Jesus cares for.