Joy to the World, Now and Forevermore

Psalm 98:8-9 – “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord, for He comes to judge the earth.  He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”


Christmas 2014 has come and gone.  Soon all of the trees will be taken down and put away, the candy will all be eaten or thrown out, and many of the presents will be largely forgotten about.  December will turn to January and Christmas present will become Christmas past.  This is always a sad occurrence for me because I miss the joy of Christmas.  I miss the carols and the decorations.  I miss the celebrations and the anticipation.  I especially miss the time with family and friends before life gets “back to normal”.


And yet in reality life doesn’t have to get “back to normal” does it?  Christmas is special because we set aside time for special things.  We set aside time to spend with those that we love.  Christmas is special because we tend to gaze upon Jesus a little more during this time of year.  Truthfully however none of that has to change.  We can still set aside time for those that we love.  We can still focus on Jesus everyday, or as the writer of Hebrews tells us, we can still “fix our eyes on Jesus”.  Everyday can be special because of Him and His love and His grace.  Everyday can be special because of the people that He blesses our lives with.


In the late 1600s Isaac Watts wrote the song that we triumphantly sing at Christmas, “Joy to the World.”  But that song was not written as a Christmas song.  Watts began to write songs in response to the terrible music of the church at that time.  One Sunday morning Watts remarked to one of the deacons of the church that the music was terrible that day, the deacon’s response “well then do something about it.”  Watts did and that evening came to church with a hymn ready to sing.  Shortly thereafter he produced “Joy to the World”, not as a Christmas song but as a song based on Psalm 98 to celebrate the sovereignty and majesty of God.  A song to celebrate Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, not just at Christmas but everyday.


A song that beautifully proclaims how we ought to live: Joyfully, everyday.  Joyful because we can spend time with those that we love, not just at Christmas but we can set aside time everyday.  Joyful because we can slow down and reflect on Jesus, not just at Christmas but everyday.  Another reason people are joyful at Christmas is because of the anticipation.  We anticipate giving gifts and we anticipate getting gifts, and then suddenly its all over.  We can however live everyday in anticipation.  Anticipating the gifts of that day.  Anticipating the gift of God’s grace and mercy, and knowing that His mercy is “new every morning.”  Anticipating being able to spend time in His presence, because we are told to “come boldly before His throne of grace,” and that “in His presence there is fullness of joy.”  And anticipating His return as King.  Jesus is already King of Kings and Lord of Lords but one day He will return and fully set up His kingdom.  We should live in anticipation of that day.  And oh what a glorious day that will be, dare I say it will be a day of joy.


Joy to the world the Lord is come – He is presently here

Joy to the world the Lord has come – He came to this earth to redeem His people

Joy to the world the Lord is coming – to set up His kingdom.


Joy because of Jesus, so let us live in and bask in that joy every day.

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