Text of the Week ... The Rev. Louise McClements, Blackbraes and Shieldhill/Muiravonside

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‘We love because he first loved us.’ (1 John Ch.4, v19.)

One of the joys of ministry is when I conduct a short service in the local nursing home.

This is a huge privilege for myself and my members and we always leave feeling uplifted.

Many of the residents have dementia and some rarely speak but when they hear a familiar hymn they are able to join in.

Others are only able to listen but their presence brings warmth to our gathering.

Ministering to people with dementia reminds me how we are all precious and of infinite value to God.

Within society a heavy emphasis is placed upon doing, but sometimes in life we find ourselves dependent upon others, and we move from doing to simply being.

Our value to God though does not depend on what we do, for God loves us simply because ‘we are.’

Those who suffer from dementia teach us this truth in a very special way.

And they grant us the privilege of being able to love and care for them, meeting their physical, psychological and spiritual needs.

So let us give thanks for people with dementia and those who care for them.

May carers be strengthened and encouraged in the valuable work that they do.

And may those with dementia know that they are loved, treasured and valued within our society not for what they do, but for simply being who they are.