Joy to the World (Advent 3)

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By Renee Williamson

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My favorite song of the Christmas season is Joy to the World. Every time I hear or sing it, I am transported back to that Christmas pageant my mom made me be a part of, and I am a little girl dressed up like a medieval princess (I still don’t know why that was a part of the pageant), belting out the song full of joy myself. Except, that joy was because I was a princess and the center of attention. From where should our joy really come, and where can we find joy during this stressful life and consumerist holiday?

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

2. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let all their songs employ;
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy.

3. No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found.

4. He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love.[1]

The joy of Christmas comes because Christ sent his son, Jesus, to earth to become man and die on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. What does it mean that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice, and why do we need one? In Biblical times, sacrifices of goats, sheep, doves, and more needed to be sacrificed to make up for one’s sins. But, as the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 10:11-12 tells us, “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” Christ’s sacrifice of dying on the cross not only made up for our sins, but took them away. The only thing we have to do is accept the gift of the sacrifice that Christ has offered us, and live accordingly. In other words, “Let earth receive her King!”

Joy came to the world, because “he [Jesus] comes to make his blessings flow” by dying on the cross for you and me.

This blog post continues a series which will use different hymns to partake in Advent and to help staff and readers alike prepare for Christmas.

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Want to know more about Renee? Read her bio here.


[1] Isaac Watts (1674-1748), 1719.
[3] Hebrews 10:11-12 (ESV)
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