Joy to the World

Hi everyone, Rob here. When Isaac Watts wrote the famous hymn, “Joy to the World,” he didn’t intend for it to be a Christmas carol at all. Based on Psalm 98, Watts didn’t have theplate-142741_640 first coming of Jesus in mind; he had in mind the second. This makes ‘Joy to the World” a perfect hymn for Advent; the time of year when we look forward to the coming of the Christ-child, but also the second coming of Jesus as King.

With both the first and second comings of Jesus in mind the lyrics become incredibly powerful, perhaps none more so than the exhortation, “let every heart prepare him room.” This is what Advent is all about; for every heart to be ready to receive their king. Unfortunately, the heart often gets neglected during this season as we race around trying to meet postal deadlines, social obligations, end-of-year requirements, family demands and church invitations. Why do we do this to ourselves? Does it have to be this way?

I suspect the main problem is that we start the season off with faulty foundations. We start with the deadlines and obligations instead of starting with a focus on the king himself. The deadlines and obligations won’t go away but spending some time with the king will help us to hold onto them lightly and even experience some joy in them. Taking a minute or two to pray before going to the next function or before hitting the shops can do wonders for our hearts. It can even help us to be prayerful while you shop or chit-chat or eat. Maybe we’ll find ourselves buying better gifts or offering wise and meaningful words or making good eating choices! If we let Jesus our King guide us through this season of heart preparation, then we may well find ourselves eager to receive him with joy bursting in our veins.

So I invite you to take some time now, read the words of this majestic hymn (even sing it to yourself!) and reflect on the joy that is ours because Christ our King has come and is coming again. If you prefer listening I’ll post a video at the bottom of the page.

Verse 1

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Verse 2

Joy to the world! The Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Verse 3 (optional)

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Verse 4

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30OaM6b48k8

Blessings and joy everyone.

 

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