When Sanjay* and some fellow followers of Christ decided to celebrate the Christmas season with caroling, they knew to be discreet. After all, they lived in northern India, where persecution of Christians is an everyday threat. Casually going into the streets singing to random strangers was not an option. No, they purposed to only go to the homes of friends like Raja. Raja was not yet a follower of Jesus but he was regularly participating in one of the local Bible studies. Surely it would be okay to sing outside his house? They assembled at Raja’s home and had begun singing when the front door flew open and a man shot into their midst. It was Raja’s older brother, Charan.

 With a machete-like knife in his hand, the irate man lunged into the crowd of carolers. Charan first destroyed the drum they were playing and then began slashing wildly toward the people. He got close enough to cut one man’s shirt, but thankfully no blood was drawn. The carolers quickly left and reported this incident to the police. Some officers accompanied them back to Raja’s home, but by the time they arrived, Charan had fled. After the officers left, Sanjay and the others prayed for Raja and his whole family.

 About one week had passed when Sanjay’s phone rang. It was Charan. He explained that he had turned himself into the police and asked if Sanjay could come down to the station. As soon as Sanjay arrived, Charan bent down, touched Sanjay’s feet three times (a gesture of respect) and said, “I am very sorry. You are a good person.” God had been at work in the lives of Raja’s family, and, because of this incident, all of Raja’s family except Charan decided to become Christians!

 This Christmas, whenever you hear your favorite carols, please be praying for God to open the hearts of those who are violently opposed to him. Pray they would accept Christ and become conduits for many others to receive him.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let Earth receive her King. 

Let every heart prepare Him room.

(*pseudonym)