One of my favorite statements in the whole Bible often comes up at Christmastime:
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us.” John 1:14 (NRSV)
Pastor Eugene Peterson, in his Message interpretation of the Bible, translates the original Greek of that verse in this way: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”
This season as I think about those words, my mind goes to the neighborhoods of the Good Samaritan Society: both the neighborhoods that become our service areas through home-based services and the neighborhoods within our buildings: our hallways and resident rooms, our nurses’ stations and environmental services closets, and our activities rooms that house coffee hours and card clubs.
God has indeed moved into those Good Samaritan neighborhoods over the past year—through the faithful service and presence of staff, residents and family members.
For many of you, that landscape and location has changed over the past year. Maybe a loved one has entered memory care, and your weekly schedule now revolves around evening visits. Maybe your own mobility has changed and impacted the way you move around the neighborhood. Maybe you know, in the back of your mind, that your parent’s physical needs have begun exceeding your caregiving capacity.
The promise of Christmas is that in Jesus Christ, God moves into the neighborhood—into our neighborhood, wherever it may be, however it may evolve.
Thank you for the ways you have embodied the Christmas story for me and for all of the Good Samaritan Society. You have done God’s work of health, healing and comfort right in the middle of your neighborhood.
Merry Christmas, from all of us to you. May God’s peace be yours this season and always.
Pastor Christine Hallenbeck Ask
Director, Mission Integration and Senior Pastor
Good Samaritan Society