Community Caroling

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Community Caroling

This past Sunday, we decided to do something a bit unusual. A bunch of us went out to a local shopping center (we asked permission first, don’t worry) and sang Christmas hymns as people were walking around and shopping. We didn’t ask anything from anybody (though we did hand out candy!). The reactions were interesting:

Some people were at various levels of amusement / interest. I saw someone filming us as we sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Drivers might give a little wave as they drove by.

Some people tried not to make any eye contact whatsoever. And that makes some sense. Most people are a little skeptical about anyone outside a store: they must be selling something, and whatever they are selling, I don’t want it.

Similarly…

Some people assumed we were collecting donations. There were some very sweet folks who came to us with wads of cash in hand, ready to give to whatever cause we happen to be singing for. As they approached, somebody from our group usually responded with, “Nope, we’re not taking anything, we are just here to bless you.” What followed was an expression of shocked-yet-pleasantly-surprised.

And as I am watching these reactions, I couldn’t help but think this was like a little microcosm of most people’s reaction to the Gospel. Here is Jesus: singing his song of love, no strings attached, pure unmerited favor. Some people are slightly amused, but go back to their lives. Others assume there must be some sort of catch and try not to make eye contact. Still others come genuinely grateful, money and good works in hand, ready to pay Jesus back. Only they find there’s nothing to buy back, just a gift we could never afford, bought with blood for you and for me.

There was one other person who we met along our little caroling adventure. One lady was so excited and thankful she wanted to join us in singing. So we gave her a caroling book and she joined the chorus. And isn’t that what Jesus wants? For us to know His love, shown on the cross, to have our sins washed away, so that we would join the chorus of His praises through all eternity.