Saturday, June 30: Christ, the Ultimate Caregiver

Caregivers are very much in demand these days, especially for the elderly, babies, and those that suffer from illness. All of us are in need these days; it seems no one is immune, at some point, from the need for comprehensive care. We need things like food, clothing, medicine, and shelter, along with respect, acceptance, and love. There is one and only one that can give us these needs and many more: that is Jesus Christ! Through Christ we receive ultimate caregiving. The type of care you can only receive through Communion. It is here that Christ gives us himself and total salvation. It is up to us what we do with that each time that we receive the sacrament of the Eucharist. Christ is our most precious gift, and it is through him that we experience the ultimate caregiver.

Every Sunday we celebrate the Eucharist to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. Christ, God’s only son was given up redeeming all people, even those that may not believe. What a caring, loving act! How can we repay such a huge act of love and caring?

As we see, Christ shows his love and concern on many different levels. His first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana shows how much Christ wanted and needed his family and friends to be happy. He made sure that everyone at the wedding was having a good time and that the reputation of the host was not tarnished.

He showed not only his capacity to care for himself and others when his good friend Lazarus died, but He was able to show his human side as well, when he wept for the loss of his friend. Friends and family were not just confused when Jesus initially acted unconcerned for the loss; when He purposely stayed away and let Lazarus die, they were critical too. What we learned from this story was how deeply Jesus was affected by Lazarus’s death, and how he used the event to teach us how to mourn and how to live. He taught us that through him we can experience not just physical life but spiritual life too. He taught us that caring for those we love can be painful, but that through Him, even physical death cannot take us away from those we love. He taught us that we can triumph over death and, like Lazarus, rise to a new life.

Christ’s final act of caring for us was his final act. He gave himself for us on the cross. Christ faced His own death both as man and as God. In the garden just before being arrested, Christ prays that death will pass Him by, even though He knows that is not possible. Because He cared so much for us, He put aside His own feelings and dutifully fulfills His destiny by dying on the cross. In doing so, He buys our salvation with His life and we share in the promise of eternal Life with Him.

The definition of caring states that it is the act of showing support and concern for someone who cannot do for themselves. Christ entire life is an example of the definition for caring because without Christ we are nothing.

I hope that over the last thirty days the devotions provided helped to highlight what it means to be in a caring relationship. St. Paul Lutheran Church is a great place to be, and offers the perfect environment to continue the practice of caring for one another and the world around us. Keep up the good work, and thanks for allowing us to grow our caring muscles.

Terri DeAngelis