And Finally: Christmas Caroling – Sunday, December 18
When I think of why Christmas Caroling in Advent is so important to me personally and to our life together as a congregation, one thing comes to mind. This is a tangible sign that we remember and we cherish our members who can no longer worship with us on Sunday in the sanctuary. When people’s world begins to shrink they not only feel lonely they can begin to wonder things like “Do people even remember me? Do I matter?” When a group of singers walk through the door loaded down with poinsettias, cookies, and a bag chocked full of cards, our members feel cherished and loved by us and we feel cherished and loved by them. These are precious moments and I encourage you to be a part of it!
As part of my music and choir leadership at Hope Church, I promote and encourage people to sing/ring/play together. We learn from each other and share our gifts as the experience of making music together is rewarding for both the participant and the listener. Caroling is a genuine extension of singing together as many of our listeners that we sing to, will also spontaneously sing with us. As carolers sing from home to home, lobby to corridors, the spirit of love via words and music bring joy to all. I encourage you to join our caroling event and experience the Hope Church togetherness.
I’ll touch on 2 things to motivate your participation in caroling: obligation and blessing. The obligation part can be expressed in a couple of ways, one of which is that participating is simply the right thing to do. And if that makes you feel a little guilty, well then guilt is a time-honored motivation that I would be glad for you to respond to! Or to go a bit deeper, I see this as an obligation in the sense of treating others as I would want to be treated (aka the Golden Rule). And when I consider if my circumstances in life would turn out such that I am in a care facility, then would I want people from my church to come and sing carols to me? – my answer is an unequivocal YES! The Golden Rule remains a reliable guide in many circumstances. But if you need something still beyond obligation, then you can be motivated by blessing. As much as we rightly focus on how important this is for those to whom we carol, the truth is that there is a great blessing received as you carol. It’s simply one of those experiences in life in which the Spirit is at work to bring mutual joy, blessing and grace to all involved. So, please do feel obligated to participate, and in doing so you’ll end up with a blessing – sounds like a Christmas miracle to me!