We arrived late, so it was a real blessing to find six seats together in the massive, crowded church where the Colorado Christian University choir and symphonic band held their incredible Christmas concert. My almost-twenty-one-year-old grandson sings in that remarkable choir and I felt much excitement and anticipation as we enjoyed the prelude of handbells. One seat next to me was saved with a coat sprawled across it, and just before the concert began, a very small, elderly woman made her way slowly down the aisle in front of all six of us and then, with great effort, lowered herself into the empty seat.
The concert began with a reading from Isaiah Chapter 9:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
The words of this powerful Scripture ushered in the magnificent opening song "Emmanuel, God is With Us," and the pure, rich young voices rang out above the strings and brass and percussion, filling the auditorium with glorious worship! As the music began to build in intensity, suddenly the frail little woman beside me began to rise up from her seat. It seemed like it took her a long time to straighten the knees, slowly raise up the bony shoulders and then extend one hand into the air in praise! I looked around me. There was not one other person standing, and no other hands lifted in the entire huge sanctuary. Unashamed, this tiny, elderly woman stood to give glory to God; not once, but quite a few times during this awesome concert. Each time she would gingerly rise from her seat I could feel the tears streaming down my face. She did not care if she was the only one standing to lift her hands in surrendered worship to her King! Something was moving her very deeply into a worship that I have seldom witnessed in my life.
When the songs were lively, she would sometimes tap her toes and sometimes wave her fingers in rhythm. And when she needed to sit down, it was so difficult for her that I would reach over and support her back, helping her ease back into her seat. For two hours the glorious music filled our souls and for two hours I marveled at this woman's love of her Savior. Finally the concert came to an end with a thrilling rendition of "O Holy Night" and then the lights came on. Immediately I reached over and put both my arms around her in a big hug and said to her, "I love your spirit of worship! We have kindred spirits. Please tell me what moves you to worship so deeply, unaware of anything but the Lord." She took both my hands and cradled them in her gnarled, old hands, smiled at me with a great beam of light around her face, and exclaimed, "I'm Jewish and I just found my Savior! His name is Yeshua, which means 'God's Salvation!'"
I thought my heart would burst! "So you are now a Messianic Jew!" I prompted her. And with great excitement she replied, "Yes! Now I know that He is my Messiah and I just don't want to do anything but worship Him!"
On the long drive home from Denver I pondered this whole remarkable experience. A Scripture kept reverberating through my mind from Romans 11:13-15. I recalled how Paul wrote, "I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?"
So that is what I was witnessing! Near the end of her years, this Jewish woman had met her Messiah and her unabashed, unbridled worship was a true picture of life from the dead! She literally beamed with light as she quoted to me from memory the verses from Isaiah read at the very beginning of the concert: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end!" She would have read those verses from the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue during her lifetime; but now, suddenly it had become truth and life to her. And as for me, these verses imparted fresh new light and life to me too, and I was filled anew with the desire this little Jewish woman has: I just don't want to do anything but worship this King who holds the true government on His shoulders and whose Kingdom will have peace without end!
Kelly Ferrari Mills