To carol sing or to save a life? No question.

In the early days of our church in Lonehill we used to go carol singing through the suburb. One year someone lent us a huge open truck and that Christmas Eve we all jumped on and drove around in style. Members of the congregation who lived in town house complexes signed us in and we were able to go where we would not have been able to go on foot. The plan was to end our tour at the local shopping complex, where we would jump off and walk through the mall singing and witnessing.
As we pulled into the parking area a terrible sight confronted us. Two very drunk men were fighting to the death. One had the other pinned down and was repeatedly stabbing him in the face with the jagged end of a broken beer bottle. A woman, equally drunk, stood by egging them on and two security guards just watched from a distance. Without thinking properly about the dangers of the situation I, and two other men, leaped off the truck and rushed over to the bloody scene. The other two grabbed the man with the bottle and pulled him off while I quickly took off my jacket and used it to stem the flow of blood from the victims face and neck. Others from the truck joined us and persuaded the security guards to call an ambulance and the police.
By the time it was all over we had little appetite for more carol singing and so we drove back to the church building. Only then did I start to think about what I had done. My hands were covered in blood and there was a high probability that a man like that had AIDS. Also, what if the aggressive bloke with the broken bottle had attacked us?! So we prayed for our wellbeing, and for the injured man, and for his assailant. Then we all went home.
Looking back on that incident, I wonder what the better witness was – singing carols or saving a life? I suspect that Jesus would have sacrificed the singing but not the man – the Gospels are full of accounts of how He healed but none of Him singing carols.

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