Pulling up to the church, I walked into the sanctuary, where the rest of the choir members were gathering. This was the first time for me to ever be in a Christmas choir. When an invitation to join the choir was announced a month ago, I knew I had no time for it. My husband said, “You will never have time. Do it if you want to do it.” It meant than my husband had to watch the kids on Thursday nights for four weeks. He said he didn’t mind doing it. I loved the rehearsals. Our choir director has a fun sense of humor.
After practicing for an hour, the church members started coming in, so we descended from the stage. At the right time we lined up along the wall and stepped up to the risers. I looked out over the people. We were here to lead them in praise to God. As we started singing, I felt like I was with the angels in heaven. Joy emanated from my soul.
An elderly man came up to the stage to lead us in communion. He is one of the elders, a man with the sweetest, gentlest expression I’ve ever seen, like he has spent his whole life with Jesus. That’s the expression I want when I’m old, I said to myself. Have you noticed how elderly people are either bitter toward life (cranky and never satisfied with anything) or sweet (contented with life and easy to be with)? I want to be in the second category.
Last year this same elderly man gave the Christmas sermon. He had trouble walking up the stairs. Then he messed up several of his lines, but he quickly corrected them. And every time he finished with one of the pages of his notes, he would drop it to the ground. He apologized that he had to drop his papers, but it was impossible for his hands to turn them at his age. At the end of the sermon when the people were filing out the door, I went up to him and said, “I loved your dramatic flair in dropping each page as you were finished with it. I’ll have to remember that for when I do public speaking.” He laughed sweetly as I told him how moving his sermon was.
The elderly gentleman stepped down, and we sang our last song. “Joy, unspeakable joy rises in my soul…” Joy filled my soul, and when I looked into the faces of the people in the audience, their faces lit up with joy as they looked into my face. I must have looked like the gentleman, the one I want to be like, shining the joy of Jesus as we sang this Christmas service.Tweet