19 December 2009

A midnight clear

Yesterday it was a cool, clear evening. A perfect Friday night to go to the movies. We, however, happened to go to the grocery store. But it is conveniently located across the street from a popular multiplex and I noticed throngs of people queued up for ticket sales, confirming my suspicions.

I also noticed a human voice shouting something that I could not quite understand. But then it seemed to be coming from another direction. Oh, there were two men shouting. I thought perhaps there was a protest of some sort going on, and being the curious individual that I am, mentioned it to Cristy. She always knows more about current events than I, so perhaps she knew what the protest was all about. On this occasion, she did not. But being the curious individual that she is, decided just to drive on by and find out first hand.

I didn’t gather that it was a protest, per se. It appeared to be a group of evangelical Christians. They were holding a banner that included a message with the word ‘sinner’ prominently featured. Another one of the men had a digital camera, I suppose for taking photos of passers-by. There weren’t any people stopping to smile, I noticed.

The shouting voice was growing louder as we approached. We drove toward the movie marquis, wondering what film could be causing the protest. Surely there was some movie that initiated this gathering of what appeared to be disapproving Christians. We scanned the list of films, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary Hollywood fare.

So then, what was the fuss about? Why the shouting? As we drove toward the exit, there was another clump of individuals at the sidewalk who seemed to be appealing to movie-goers as they walked by, one man extending his hand in which he appeared to be holding a Bible.

Hmmm, we thought perhaps they were simply encouraging people to reflect on the true spiritual connection with Christ, during this season of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of the son of God. God’s selfless gift to the people of the Earth. But that didn’t make much sense, because they seemed so angry, you know, with all the shouting.

Christianity is full of paradoxes, I guess. If these two groups were attempting to spread the message of connecting with the central meaning of Christmas, the wonder of the birth of Jesus, then why so much anger? I believe the birth of Christ is about pure joy, awe and humility. According to the stories we have all heard, the visitors to that manger who were fortunate enough to witness the miracle, did so thoughtfully, reverently, treading ever so quietly.

I love the trappings of the season. More is more. Glitter, sparkle, twinkle, merry and jingle all the way. But it doesn’t mean that I do not pause to reflect on the birth of Christ, the struggles and faith of Mary and Joseph, the gift to humanity. It is the essence of that divine gift that demonstrates God’s love for us all. No, I have not forgotten.

But why present it to us in such angry tones? Why go on a recruiting mission condemning those you wish to befriend?

Perhaps before going out in public for an organized awareness or recruiting campaign, it might be a good idea to review some of the fundamentals of marketing and sales. Just a thought.


  1. Maybe the angry group wasn't familiar with the term that you can catch more flies with sugar than vinegar. I so dislike when protesters use mean antics toget attention..like peace protestors who are violent or animal rights protestors who throw blood on people. Can't they just get their points across peacefully...most people will listen to those who are nice about it. Good post...makes one think.

  2. Religion is such a touchy subject but yeah I don't get that either... what is with the telling and anger? Especially to just random people just walking by. It just makes you wonder if they are either passionate or just plain nuts.

  3. Yes! I just posted about some angry commenter on my blog, who is also a little misguided to think that such behavior is the right way to convince others of your point of view. Hypocritical of them, also sad. When will we better learn to share in this experience of life without being so offensive?