Tonight we stumbled upon a great event for witnessing. Each year I drive my family in the minivan through the DWP Light Festival. This year, I noticed a distinct lack of Christmas. I mean, it was always gone, but this year I really noticed it. Sure, there were elves and snowmen, and trees and snowflakes and maybe even a Santa. But, I didn't see anything relating to the true meaning of Christmas: Christ Himself.
I know this is put on by a public facility and leans toward the secular. But, I saw an opportunity for our team to spread the gospel. In addition to the normal Burbank Town Center open air preaching, we took about six of us to Griffith Park Zoo early and headed down the walking path passing out Santa bucks to passers by. We watched hundreds of cars driving at two miles per hour right past us. Eventually we got bold and stood in the oncoming traffic handing out tracts to each car. This lasted for a few minutes till the security told us we couldn't cross the barrier to the street. So, we walked a bit further down the path to the entrance where there wasn't a barrier. The guards at the front told us we could not pass out fliers. I told him that this was actually a public street and if he could show me a rule that I was breaking, I would be happy to comply. He didn't have one but called the Park Ranger to discuss it with us.
We decided to move a bit further up the line so that we wouldn't be anywhere near anyone with any aspirations of authority. The road was definitely one-way and was packed with cars, so there was no way a Park Ranger was going to just drive up to us. In fact, we saw his truck circling the area trying to figure out how to get down to us. In the meantime, we had found the perfect spot. The traffic was so slow, we could stand at the side and every single car pulled up to grab thier tract. I passed out a hundred to one hundred cars in about ten minutes.
By this time, the Ranger had figured out he was going to have to walk up to us, and did. He spoke with Chris and I and asked what we were doing. When he found out we were passing out gospel tracts, he said, "I guess I can't stop you." He said he was worried about two things. First, our safety. He made up promise not to stand in the middle of the street. We were fine on the side. Second, he was worried about slowing up traffic. I said, it couldn't go much slower than two miles per hour. But, he mainly wanted to make sure that we wouldn't get into indepth converstaions with people as they drove. We assured him we wouldn't, placed a Tony Miano tract in his hand and wished him a Merry Christmas. What a great country we live in where the police allow us to share the gospel and are concerned for our safety.
Now, with our new found freedom, we boldly passed out another 4-500 tracts each as the cars just marched by. It was great. As we ran out of tracts, we headed back up to our car and made sure to thank all the security we met for being so safety conscious and handed them all tracts as well.
This night was incredible. Every time I said, "Merry Christmas" to someone, their face lit up, as if to say, that's right, we don't have to just say Happy Holidays to people. With so much restriction in the stores, people sometimes forget that we can still freely wish people a Merry Christmas this time of year. Anyone who asked what I was giving them, I told them it was a gospel tract. They inevitably said, "Thank you!" or "God Bless You". I hope I encouraged at least a few to do something similar themselves.
The regular Burbank preaching went on as well, but tonight should serve as an example that we should always be on the lookout for new and creative ways to share our faith. Let's pray that God uses our efforts to bring some people across to a saving relationship with the 'reason for the season' himself, Jesus Christ.