Joy to the Lord

A few days ago, I enjoyed one of my most meaningful Christmas moments in recent memory. Rick Johnson, the juvenile hall chaplain, invited me to join other volunteers at a Christmas party for 26 incarcerated young men.

The words of the promised Messiah recorded in Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” Isaiah 61:1), have never resonated more emphatically in my heart than they did when worshipping with those young men.

One fact that moved me to tears: three volunteers were former inmates of that facility; they shared how Rick had ministered to them some years previously. Two are now pastors but all three were there last night because Rick was present for them when they had no one.

While singing Christmas songs with a loud, scarily discordant choir of voices it occurred to me that this was some of the sweetest music i had ever heard.

Joy to the Lord, indeed!

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