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Open the Door to Jesus!

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Most patients do not enroll in hospice until their time of death draws near

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, roughly half of patients who enrolled in hospice died within three weeks, while 35.7 percent died within one week. Last year my brother Tom died within one week after he went into hospice care. 

After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 98-years old, decided on February 21, 2023 to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention. 

For most of his adult life when Jimmy Carter was home in Plains, Georgia he taught Sunday School every Sunday in his local church. Here is one of his Easter lessons that he taught…..

Is there any parallel between the experience of the followers on the road to Emmaus and our lives? Yes, there are times when each of us fails to recognize the presence of Christ or the Holy Spirit. Remember that the Scriptures promise us that Christ is with us—at least potentially—not just as an occasional, miraculous event but at all times. 

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus tells us, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” So an experience like that of the disciples, who recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, is always available to all of us.

So it’s easy, even for dedicated Christians, to put off opening the door to Jesus. We want to be good Christians, but when it’s more convenient, at least not today. “Just wait,” we say, “until we reach retirement age—or our kids get out of college—or we make the last house payment. Then we’ll try to put into our lives the kinds of things we would want to do if Christ were here.”

But Christ is here, right now. And when we open our hearts to other people, particularly those who are different from us, we are opening the door to him. This is a practical way that Christians can take a major step toward realizing the constant presence of our Savior. He says so specifically: “As you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me” (Matthew 2 5:40).

When we take such a step, our eyes are opened, as were those of the disciples; we expand our lives, escape from the cages we build around ourselves, and enter a new environment of surprises, adventure, and real gratification. This is some of what Cleopas and his brother learned on the way to Emmaus. 

Imagine their elation and excitement! I wonder how long it took them to get back to Jerusalem, to share what they’d seen and heard with their friends? They might have set a 10,000-meter speed record!

We are thankful that the miracle they experienced isn’t a mystery or a secret any longer. It’s a truth all of us can share. Our Savior lives, and if we let it happen—if we accept his presence—our lives will be changed forever.

Thanks to Jimmy Carter for these words. You are in our prayers, President Carter. 

Thanks to Cathal Mac An Bheatha for the photo 

How and when can YOU open the door to the Risen Jesus in YOUR life? Who do YOU know who is or was in hospice care that YOU can pray for?

Please introduce someone new to TREATSFORTHESOUL.ORG.  And be sure to listen to my DAILY PODCAST by clicking the little White Triangle.


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