Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
I love the Christmas season. I like the cheerful decorations, spending time with family and friends, and eating Christmas goodies. One of my favorite part of Christmas, is the Christmas carols like “Joy to the World!”
“Joy to the world! The Lord is come,” God’s people announce at Christmastime. Based on Psalm 98, Isaac Watts’s eighteenth-century carol celebrates the coming of Jesus, the Christ. The joy of the Savior’s coming resounds throughout all of creation, even the fields and rocks and hills and plains “repeat the sounding joy.” This is good news for all of God’s world!
What’s so good about this news announced each Christmas? Why sing this carol with such exuberance? Watts answers that question in the third stanza, where he declares that Jesus has come to deal with the curse of human sin and rebellion. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus brings the blessing as “far as the curse is found.”
In Watts’s hymn, this phrase repeats several times—and for good reason. Released from bondage to sin and the power of death over us, we are now freed to live with joy, to love God and our neighbor, and to cultivate the earth God has given us. So let’s sing with joy that good news: “Joy to the world! The Lord is come”!
Dear Lord, You have come and released us from the power of sin and death. Help us to live in ways that proclaim the wonders of Your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.