Bob Harman and I were meeting to do ‘Hope interviews’ in Colonial Williamsburg in mid December. We engage people on the streets saying, “We’re doing short street interviews on the topic of hope. Sadly, there seems to be a deficit of hope in our country. Would you be up for answering four quick questions about hope?” Most people were up for it, though some waved us off.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being you have so much hope you’re overflowing and you have extra for others and 1 being run for your lives, we’re all doomed; how hopeful are you about your future?” They laugh, give us a number and usually some insight into their world. Second question, “using the same scale, how hopefully are you for the future of our country?” We listen and learn more about them, and their worldview.
Question number three: “What is the source of your hope?” We listen attentively, and then this usually turns into a great dialogue about meaning, God and life. We often get to share about our hope in Jesus, but we don’t force it. Source of hope has nothing to do with God or faith, then we ask question number four: “In addition to your other source of hope, do you have a faith or a belief in God that also brings you hope?” Again, good conversations usually follow.
It was such a joy to proclaim Jesus in , that we decided Christmas Eve to have a larger group in merchant Square before Daybreak’s worship service. I knew we had seven committed carolers, but we ended up with at least 18 singers! We also had bags of homemade cookies and hot chocolate for passersby. There were foreign tourists who were filming positive conversations resulted. We invited people into our Christmas Eve service and about a dozen people joined us from the streets!
One of the most repeated commands in all of Scripture is to “praise the Lord!” Combine that with the fact that so many in our culture simply do not know the story of Christmas, the Good News of Jesus Christ and Christmas caroling provides a great opportunity!
My Wednesday evening men’s group loved the idea of Christmas caroling. So, we set out for Town Center in Virginia Beach one afternoon. Bob Callahan, Ric Lowman, Dave Lundquist and I lifted our voices on a chilly afternoon, praising the Lord! While I’m sure we wouldn’t win any awards for the quality of the sound, our hearts were all in! We also handed out candy canes with Scripture and an online link to more Gospel resources.
A big highlight was when a gentleman sat very close to us to hear. Between songs, I invited him to join us. He was a Christian and very encouraged by what we were doing. He told us that he would love to join us. He was a musician and lived close by, so he left and quickly returned with his drums and a ukulele! We had a great time of worship and reaching out.