Merry Christmas! First, the disclaimer that I give every year: I know that Christ probably wasn’t born this time of year. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that December 25 is the day of Jesus’ birth. But the older I get the more I love celebrating the birth of Jesus in a special way this time of year. I can’t think of a better way to bring my year to a close. What a wonderful thing to celebrate. Reminds me of these thoughts from Greg Asimakoupoulos:
On October 30, 2010, more than six hundred Philadelphia-area singers circulated nonchalantly among the Saturday morning shoppers in the large Macy's store in downtown Philadelphia. Dressed in street clothes, the inconspicuous singers mingled with other shoppers. Then, at exactly noon, the organist at the mall's historic Wanamaker organ (the largest pipe organ in the world) began playing the opening measures to the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah.
Suddenly, the choir members, sprinkled throughout the store, started singing in full voice. The video for this event shows the amazed shoppers watching the choir giving glory to the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
This event, called a Random Act of Culture, was organized by the City Opera of Philadelphia. In addition to singers from the opera company, there were choristers from 28 other musical organizations.
On November 13, 2010, a similar "flash mob" performance took place in the food court of the Seaway Mall in Ontario, Canada. Shoppers who paused for a quick lunch were surprised by 80 singers from the nearby Chorus Niagara who started singing the "Hallelujah Chorus."
As I write this write this, I’m sitting outside at a Starbucks surrounded by the hustle of the last shopping days of the season. And I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if a chorus of people suddenly broke out in song. It would certainly get our attention. That’s a pretty good picture of what happened during the first Christmas. A host of angels interrupt the everyday work and conversation of a bunch of rustics, out watching their sheep. And they bring good news that will cause great joy for all the people (Luke 2).
This Sunday, I hope you’ll join me in song and celebration as we remember that good news.