From Frills to Chills
Christmas caroling. As soon as you hear that term you likely have a handful of feelings and opinions about it. My guess is that they range from “that sounds like fun” at the top to “not on your life” at the bottom.
My own feeling is somewhere in the middle, not terribly strong either for or against. I actually haven’t gone Christmas caroling for many years. I remember taking the youth group caroling through neighborhoods around the church in my other life. We had a good time as I recall, but I was surprised to find that for many residents our surprise gift was not a welcome one. I vividly remember being halfway through Joy to the World when the occupant came to the window with a frown, hastily drew the curtains and shut off their lights. Maybe it was our pitch.
So, last Friday’s caroling excursion was my first in quite some time. I expected it to be a nice Christmas extra, but was astonished it became one of the most significant events I’ve been part of in a long time.
Since we drove to the various caroling locations, we had wonderful opportunities to talk with our team members. I don’t know the experience of the other teams, but it seemed clear to me that God was facilitating some really valuable conversations in our vehicle.
But it was the connection with the people we sang to that was the real highlight of the night. Each one was one of the many dear members of Evergreen who is unable to come to church or meet with others on any kind of a regular basis. For many of them, we were the first face-to-face contact they had had with their church family in many months and their delight was clear. Many of them live alone, and several are going through their first Christmas without their spouse. It was a holy privilege to sing blessing to them, and then to pray over them in the name of the Savior whose birth we celebrate.
Looking back, I feel like I should have recognized how valuable this would be, but I didn’t. I am so grateful God graciously surprises us with good gifts, like unexpected carolers coming to our door.
P.S. Speaking of Joy…Christmas Eve Services!
We are excited to celebrate Jesus with you at our two candlelight Christmas Eve services on December 24 at 3pm and 5pm. We will have a full worship team, Christmas hymns, songs of praise, special music, Scripture, an encouraging testimony and of course, the beauty of candlelight. We would love for you to join us in person, and since space is more limited than usual, we encourage you to reserve your spot right away. For those who cannot come, we plan to livestream the 5pm service.