The trees are up, the lights are out, and the stockings are hung. Parties are planned, gifts are wrapped, and lists are being checked.
We can easily overlook the abundance of joy all around us in this season. The writer of Psalms has made an important connection for us between joy and music. It’s no wonder this season of joy has so many wonderful tunes.
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
This Psalm inspired Isaac Watts’ well-known Christmas hymn, Joy to the World. As you ponder the words of Psalm 98 and read the lyrics, pause for a few minutes to consider bringing joy into the everyday. Soon, this season will be over. Will the joy of this season overflow into every part of your life?
Will joy overflow to a swelling generosity?
Will joy overflow to helping someone in need?
Will joy overflow to the conversations with neighbors, co-workers and friends?
Will joy overflow to tell the story of Jesus in your everyday life?
Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
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
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
An unpopular early 20th century revision changed the first line:
Joy to the world, the light has come.
May your life light up the world around you, during this season and in each day beyond.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let every heart prepare Him room.
Looking for more to read and ponder this Christmas season? Revisit the Christmas Countdown!