As we all know, the holidays can be a time of joy for some and sadness for others. A group in the church who almost always experience sorrow during this time of year are those who have lost their spouse. Here are some practical ways to encourage, care, and serve widows and widowers in your church during this time of year.
Have a special dinner at church in their honor. I recently got word of a dear friend and pastor’s wife who planned a large potluck dinner at the church to honor the widows. As many of these folks don’t have a lot of family around, this is a great time to remind them the body of Christ is their family. My understanding is that in addition to eating, there were special things done and said that made these widows and widowers feel loved, valued, and honored.
Go to their home and sing Christmas carols. One of the most fun things we do as a church is caravan around on a Saturday evening close to Christmas to different elderly widows’ homes and sing Christ-honoring Christmas songs. Everybody brings their kids, we have a good time of fellowship, but most importantly, those we sing for and serve through this effort are encouraged and lifted in ways few efforts seem to accomplish.
Invite them to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with your family. As I look back through the years as a child, some of the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners that stick out is when we had an elderly widow my father brought over to have dinner with us. I’m sure my personal impact paled in comparison to the way that dear, sweet, elderly, and lonely woman felt when she was able to eat with our family instead of sitting at home alone.
Never underestimate the impact you can have by making these efforts with widows and widowers, especially through the holidays. If you step out of your comfort zone to be faithful in these ways, I trust you will not regret the sweet fellowship of these dear saints you will experience.
Any additional suggestions to serving widows this time of year?