“My lips shall shout for joy when I sing praises unto thee; And my soul, which thou hast redeemed.” –Psalms 71:23 (ASV)
Christmas in a small, country town was the best of times. Unlike big cities, everyone knew each other or at least was familiar with that family, which meant at Christmas there was an abundance of toys, candy, fruit and all kinds of goodies from my grandparents, mom and dad, aunts and uncles, our church, and even school. I used to call that “Christmas joy.” It was abundant, free and overflowing. Christmas was my favorite holiday. I thought like a child.
The real meaning of worship
My grandparents took me to church every Sunday, and I started playing piano and singing songs for the Lord by age 11. While I enjoyed singing in church, it wasn’t until I moved into adulthood that the real meaning of who Christ is changed for me and my worship.
I was no longer a child and could not afford to think like one. I had to grow up, take care of myself and decide what I believed about Christ. Life experiences started teaching me lessons both good and bad. I continued to play piano for the church, but I eventually had to choose a serious walk with Christ or no relationship with him at all.
True joy is authentic, abundant and free
I learned how to study the Bible and commune with God. The joy that filled my heart, once I said “yes” to Christ, was immeasurable. The music I sang and played came from my heart and not just a mere recital of words. I believed.
Unlike the joy I felt at Christmas as a child, the love of Christ I know and live by is abundant, free and overflowing. This Advent season rejoice in the God of our salvation who will one day return for his children.
Written by Loretta Jordan for the 2020 Buckner Advent Guide. Loretta is a friend, donor and volunteer at the Buckner Family Hope Center at Wynnewood. She has been married to Leonard Jordan Jr. for 33 years. She retired from Allstate Insurance Co. after 28 years and is currently the minister of music at Cornerstone Church in Oak Cliff, Texas.