Traditional Christmas Joy

It is so easy to take the traditional Christmas songs for granted, thinking they’re out-dated or old-fashioned. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Joy to the World” was actually written to a musical score entitled “Antioch”, named after the city of Antioch where believers were first called Christians (see Acts 11:26).

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.” (Psalm 98:4-6)

Listen to the heart of the Psalmist in the words to this song.

Joy to the World

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

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

No more let sin and sorrow grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground:
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

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

According to many historical hymnists, of all the sacred carols, “Joy to the World” is perhaps the most positive and uplifting declaration of the message of Christmas although there is no mention of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the manger or the wise men. While the initial verse announces that “The Lord is come,” it is the only one that is related to Christmas and the birth of Jesus. The other verses could easily be appropriate for any season of the year.

One other noteworthy fact is that Lowell Mason is generally said to be the compose of the tune, however, it was his practice to remain anonymous and not take claim to the musical composition. The humility of the composer coupled with the inspiration of the author made for a powerful proclamation of praise to the One who “rules the world with truth and grace”!

The second verse reminds me of Jesus entering into Jerusalem on a donkey while the people are crying, “Hosanna!” The Pharisees challenged Him to rebuke His disciples; His response was, “I tell you,” replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40)

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

Join the centuries of men, women, and children in proclaiming, “Joy to the Word! The Lord is come!” If we don’t the “fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains”, will cry out in our stead. Joy to the world!

Father, as we sing the carols of the season, help us to remember that we should proclaim Your praise every day of the year, not just during this season. Flow like a river, Lord, throughout all the earth as Your people proclaim the glorious wonders of Your love! Amen.
__________

© Jan Ross
All Rights Reserved

2016-12-23T12:46:37+00:00

About the Author:

Janet Ross
Jan is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. As a wife of 45+ years, mother of six, and grandmother of 13, she sees life's experiences as opportunities to learn the vastness of our Creator's love. Whether through her speaking, teaching, pen and paper or her trusty laptop, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ is of paramount importance to her. Creativity flows from her heart with passion, purpose, and proof that the Lord is the central focus of her entire life. Jan’s heart beats in constant rhythm of encouragement for today along with hope for tomorrow based on her love for the Word of God, His Body, and those who have yet to hear of His amazing and boundless love for all.

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  1. […] JOY TO THE WORLD Join the centuries of men, women, and children in proclaiming, “Joy to the Word! The Lord is come!” If we don’t the “fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains”, will cry out in our stead. Joy to the world…(continue reading) […]

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