I went carol singing last evening. Does anyone do that anymore? Fortunately the weather was mild with no wind (In Lethbridge yet!). A piano teacher’s fifty or so kids plus parents crowded into unsuspecting porches and sung a carol and “we wish you a merry Christmas” with gusto.
I wondered what impact that might have on the listeners. Some homes had Christian families, but others probably think Silent Night has about the meaning—or meaninglessness—as Rudolph’s red nose.
But every home opened the door and listened with surprise and welcome, always a friendly wave, even some applause. Several rushed for their phones to take a picture. One lady said she was even brought to tears.
Perhaps the Story of Christmas has been relegated to about the same reality as Santa Claus for most people. But song, especially carols—the words so well known—raise nostalgic longing for better days when Christian values had a guiding place in our culture.
The return of mall singer videos posted on Youtube and Facebook betrays this. Shoppers stop to listen to that Story again, certainly with joy at the music, but perhaps a re-awakening of the longing in each heart for something beyond our finite, physical existence.
Even the CBC, that most secular of institutions, plays the Messiah at Christmas—a forthright, presentation through Scripture of the Gospel. I often wonder what impact those words have. It’s not possible to praise the music and deny the message; it’s the words that give the music its majesty.
And it’s still possible to hear those carols, usually interspersed with Rudolph’s red nose and a White Christmas, in most stores. Most importantly, their message rings loud and clear in those of us that have embraced the King in the crib as our Saviour and Lord.