Although many Holidays have passed since my first Christmas inside a prison, a treasured memory returns every year to my mind. I smile as I picture again the old, upright piano and a happy Prison-Chaplain at Christmas. The middle keys were broken and I had learned to “avoid” playing them so the women could sing Hymns in the tiny Chapel. The Chaplain was delighted and decided to have a “Musical Night of Christmas Carols”! I was hesitant. I was afraid it would not be joyful as always. This was my first Christmas of living alone…but God had a plan.
When I arrived, women were waiting with a list of Carols which Jill, the Chaplain’s clerk, had given them. After singing only two songs, I realized they were crying!?! I stood up and spoke softly, “If this music makes you feel sad, we can sing other songs tonight. Immediately one woman said, “Oh no! Please don’t stop singing. It’s just the first time we KNOW what the WORDS mean. We accepted JESUS as OUR SAVIOR. Now we have PEACE and JOY every day in here!”
My heart was literally changed as we ended the evening singing the familiar Carol:
“JOY TO THE WORLD”. We discovered God can bring JOY to us…in any situation!
Luke 2:19 “Fear not: for behold I bring you
good tidings of great Joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day a Savior,
which is Christ the Lord.”
1 Peter 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.