25 Dec 2014 by Jason Law CM –
Today, when you go to shopping centers, you would inevitably see prominently-placed placards about sales. In the decorations, you would see images of elves, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, but not a single sign of Christ the Redeemer. Much of the real significance of Christmas is gone from popular culture. Amidst an increasingly commercialized and cynical celebration of the season, it is inspiring to see businessmen unashamedly proclaiming the real reason for Christmas publicly.
Last Saturday, 20th of December 2014, men from the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship (FGB) were invited and came together to share about the love of Christ through carols. They had 2 hour-long sessions, first in Lot 10, and then in Shook! Starhill Gallery.
A total of 14 songs were sung, all centering around the birth of Jesus Christ and the redemption plan for mankind 2000 years ago. The songs were carefully chosen so as to avoid the commercialistic connotation of Christmas in order to bring out fully its sacred significance.
The sessions started on a jubilant note with Joy to the World, progressing on lively songs like Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and Angels We Have Heard on High. Three songs were sung in solo and towards the end the group sang Silent Night in the simple way the song was meant for; acapella.
All three songs that were sung solo (Mary Did You Know?, You Raise Me Up, When A Child Is Born) were picked by their singers because of the songs’ special meaning for each of them. Brother Ramesh, who is the son of Reverend Jai Kumar, shared his testimony before presenting You Raise Me Up.
‘For the longest time, I couldn’t understand when people referred to God as a ‘father’. To me, He was this distant and almighty individual; He was God in this stereotypical sense. I struggled to understand God as a father. Then, one day, an hour before I had to go for work, God moved me in my spirit and I finally understood Him for who He was.
‘The Catholics have this prayer ‘Our Father in Heaven’. God is exactly like that; He is present in every part of our lives and He is always concerned about us, just like how my father loves me and the fathers of others love their children. Our God is personal and He raises us up,’ Ramesh shared. Many other brothers told their testimonies of how God had covered them with His protection and providence upon their lives, holding placards to share their stories.
Tourists, as well as people from multiple faiths stopped and listened to the carols. Many clapped along with the singers and some took photos to share with their friends. The other songs sung were Rivers of Babylon, What Child Is This, The Little Drummer Boy, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, and Felix Navidad.
Dr Henry Ng, the choirmaster for the event, believes that music has the power to touch the soul and bless others. ‘In our own little ways, we hope that what we do today will bless listeners, not just in enjoying the songs but in bringing hope and love to those who are in search of them,’ he shared during the sessions.
The caroling sessions has been a tradition for the men of FGB, going back several years. In their own ways, they are playing an important role in sharing and proclaiming the real reason why Christians celebrate Christmas; that it is not about the presents or good food, but about something that is infinitely more precious and valuable.
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