Favorite Carols: a greater day

Joy to the world
the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn –
should for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountain sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
Psalm 98.4-9

Another favorite…or it at least is on the top ten list.

As one of the most joyous of all Christmas hymns, this carol omits references to shepherds, angelic choruses, and wise men. Instead, this hymn emphasizes the reverent but ecstatic joy that Christ has come!

When declining health forced Isaac Watts to cut back on his preaching, he turned to another task: Christianizing the Psalms.

In 1719, at the age of 45, he sat under his favorite tree on the Abney estate property of close friends with whom he lived, and penned the now famous words of “Joy to the World,” based on Psalm 98.5c6de0c7d331ad26fc3319cd7ad81c96 

Psalm 98 celebrated God’s protection and restoration of his chosen people. Watts’ carol rejoices in the same, as it expresses praise for the salvation that began when God became man. Both the psalm and the hymn also look ahead, to the second coming of Christ, when he will reign again.

Today, in a season for celebrating our Savior’s birth, Watts’ hymn beautifully expresses our joy at the coming of our Savior and shouldn’t be reserved for just this season.

My prayer for you is that you won’t just sing this hymn at Christmastime. Its joyful message shouldn’t be confined to just one portion of the year. Every day our desire should be to “let earth receive her King” as we eagerly anticipate Jesus’ coming again. Every day, our prayer should be to “let every heart prepare him room.” Joy is a choice and a state of being. It’s not fleeting like our emotions – choose this day. Choose joy.

© Anita J. Brands. 2013. Website: https://authentictruthseeker.wordpress.com/

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