As I walked through the Mall in the hour before the concert, unsuccessfully searching for a special tshirt (I wanted to find something along the lines of a "I heart trees" shirt; this is Minnesota for crying out loud - you wouldn't think it would be so impossible to find a tree hugger shirt! And yet, alas, it apparently is), I passed by the Rotunda and saw the giant KTIS banner hanging proudly from the glass elevator towers, giving me that special tingly feeling and bringing a tear to my eye: how glorious is that! How wonderful that we live in this country where a Christian radio station can sponsor a concert in the middle of a public mall, where we can come together to share in our faith and sing songs about Jesus unashamedly and for all to see! While I do like Point of Grace's music, I didn't go because they are my favorite Christian group, but rather because this was a marvelous opportunity to join with fellow believers and celebrate God out in the open in the public square, a place where passers by could hear about Jesus and be called to worship. I'm normally not a very 'preachy' person, but this is one case where my awe and joy surrounding the event is so great that I talk like this ("this" being the last paragraph).
The concert itself began at 7:00 and ran the very short length of 40 minutes, almost inappropriately short given the amount of time people had gathered to wait (when I arrived at the Mall at 6:00, the Rotunda floor was already filled and most of the balcony levels claimed by standing crowds). But I suppose it made sense - the concert was free because it was a publicity outreach for POG's Girls of Grace conference weekend later this summer. And the group stayed around afterward to sign stuff - I left when the music was over, but if I had really wanted I suppose I could have "shaken their hands" or something.
The highlights of the concert itself, aside from the tear-factor when POG first started singing (Christian music + public Mall = touching), included seeing a group of teenagers in front of me singing along (the significance: young men and women, not much younger than me, singing praise to God... there is hope for the world), and also learning from one of the artists that the Minneapolis / St Paul metro area is number one in the nation when it comes to the purchase of Christian music. It's the little moments like those that keep my hopes alive in otherwise difficult and depressing times.