‘Joy to the World’ rings throughout the yearSpecial to The Mountaineer
As the Christmas season comes and goes, we cherish special memories. I remember one year when the joy of these days quickly turned to sadness. My young son Ben was with me when we walked into a favorite store a few days after Christmas, and he couldn’t find the figure of the laughing Santa Claus who had stood by the door for several weeks.
“Oh no, he’s gone,” were his first words. Seeing his distress, the store manager smiled warmly and said, “Oh, he’ll be back next year.”
The next day I began to put away the manger scene in our living room. I carefully wrapped the baby Jesus’ crib and placed it in a box. I wondered if those actions mirrored what Ben had seen at the store. Santa was gone for a year. Was Jesus also going away for a year?
Our decorations go away, even gifts might lose their luster, but for the Christian, the reason for our celebration does not change. It only grows deeper and more fulfilling, as we grow in a relationship with that beautiful baby Jesus, who has become our Savior. This year I will sing “Joy to the World” with more joy, as I proclaim the Lord has come, and then He is coming again.
The composer, Issac Watts used Psalm 98 as the basis for this famous carol. One of my favorite books is written by a friend, Denise Loock. “Open your Hymnal Again” enriches my understanding of “Joy to the World.”
She writes, “The first few verses of this psalm can certainly be applied to Christ’s birth. However, throughout Psalm 98, the psalmist also referred to events that haven't occurred — the second coming of Christ. References to Christ’s future kingdom are woven into every stanza.”
Therefore, I can sing “Joy to the World” with great enthusiasm from one Christmas to the next. I am thankful for a Jesus, who never goes away, and for a Savior who entered my heart when I discovered the plan of salvation.
“He rules the world
With truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love.”
A blessed Christmas is meant to be extended throughout the year. Merry Christmas.
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