Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Day Seventeen: He comes to make His blessings flow

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 Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!  Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

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, 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, and wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
First I should explain the funny association I have with this carol.  Back when Jonathan was in (I think)  grade one, his class participated in a holiday concert.  It being a public school, of course there was no religious element:  the presentation they did was about the five senses, and there was a song for each sense.  The song for touch was "Hot Hot Hot" (you'd probably recognize it by the "Ole, ole, ole, ole" part), and the kids all showed the palms of their hands as they sang it.  A week or so later we were at our Christmas Eve service, and the leader said, "Now let's stand and conclude our service with 'Joy to the World'."  Jonathan looked excitedly at me and asked, "Hot Hot Hot?"  Apparently "Hot Hot Hot" hasn't really caught on as a Christmas song, but I always think of it when we sing "Joy to the World."

I love this joyful carol.  The picture of all heaven and earth (rocks, trees, hills, plains) joining in worship at the birth of the Saviour is so beautiful.  And the third verse provides reassurance that even in the darkest times in our world or our lives, God's plan is to spread blessing throughout all the places where evil is present.  Personally I find this makes me want to examine my own life to see where evil or brokenness exists and ask Jesus to come in and make those places full of light and grace.  We can sing this song from our hearts when we have faith that He longs to do this, and can do it -- all because of the wonders of His love.

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