I really do love visiting the sick and shut-in in my congregation, just on principle. I didn't just vow to do this in my ordination; I really do enjoy it too! Not only does it get me away from my desk and the various paper shuffling duties of writing newsletter articles and editing the weekly bulletins and so on, but it keeps me "in touch" with members of the flock. Most of all, I love being able to bring Jesus to the shut-ins via His Gospel and Sacraments. What a joy to give the life-giving, sin-forgiving Body and Blood of Christ through the week!
On top of all that, shut-in calls can be quite "lucrative" on occasion! Several shut-in members will often send their offering to the church back with me. Yes, it's great to see their commitment to their congregation even though they can't usually attend Divine Services. Occasionally, one or two decide they want to give the pastor a little gift. (For a while I protested, but then decided that I didn't want to insult or hurt them by refusing their generosity!)
Today's visits proved quite "lucrative" in another way, though! Well, okay, only one visit. Not only did this gentleman send his offering for the church back with me, but for the second straight time he insisted that I take several pieces of really good chocolate for myself and my family. (Okay, I'll admit it, I'm trying hide this batch from the teenagers in my house! ;-) However, this time, this particular shut-in member really out did himself. He also insisted (yes, insisted!) that I take home a bottle of 12 year old Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch!!! (No, I'm not kidding!)
Who says that parishioners no longer "pay" their pastors with necessary food stuffs? :-) All I know is that I'm being treated much better than I deserve! :-)