Joy

14.01.2019

Three Dog Night (a 70s pop band) sang a song of joy:

 

       Joy to the world

       All the boys and girls now

       Joy to the fishes and the deep blue sea

       Joy to you and me

 

It was a joyous song, easy to sing, and almost everyone knows it.  One verse spoke against the problems in the world:

 

       If I were the king of the world

       Tell you what I'd do

       I'd throw away the cars and the bars and the war

       Make sweet love to you

 

 

I am writing this before Christmas when the world is filled with bright lights, pretty Christmas presents under the tree, and stockings are being filled with candy and toys.  There is JOY in the air. We are on the eve of the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

But you will be reading this in January after the Christmas ornaments have been put away and it’s likely that joy has been replaced by the headlines of the day.

 

There is another song about joy...and it is also called Joy to the World (words by Isaac Watts, published in 1719, and in the 20th century it was the most published Christmas hymn in north America).

 

     Joy to the world, the Lord is come

     Let Earth receive her King,

     Let every Heart prepare him room

     And Heaven and Nature sing

 

One of the verses speaks against the problems of the world:

 

     No more let sins and sorrows grow

     no thorns invest the ground

     He comes to make His blessings flow

     far as the curse is found…

 

We need more JOY on earth and in our lives. I heard someone say not long ago, "the world has gone crazy!" after some horrible event occurred in the world. It feels that way sometimes. Where is the joy? Where is the hope? When St. Paul wrote "and now these three remain: faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love,” he was writing about God’s incredible and boundless love for His children. God showed us His love through His Son, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.

 

At Christmas and at Easter we listen to the Hallelujah chorus (some of us sing along too) as we shout our joy to the heavens about what God has done for us.  So let us sing Joy to the World. All the boys and girls. To all the fishes in the deep blue sea, and joy to you and me….and to all creatures great and small and to all of creation, including all of humanity.

 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not parish, but have everlasting life.”

 

Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

 

 

Hymn:  Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

 

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love;

hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.

Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

 

All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays,

stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise.

Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,

chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee.

 

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,

well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!

Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine;

teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

 

Mortals, join the mighty chorus, which the morning stars began;

love divine is reigning o'er us, binding all within its span.

Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife;

joyful music leads us sunward, in the triumph song of life.

 

Amen

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