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Week 3. Monday:  Joy

Jennifer Blackburn

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Joy to the World

But the angel said to them "Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." (Luke 2:10)

When at this time of year, we think of Christmas carols, one of the most popular often comes to mind: Joy to the World!

The history of hymns, carols, and choruses has always fascinated me. As I was preparing to write this, I looked up some facts about this carol. It is interesting to note that "Joy to the World," written by Isaac Watts (1647-1748) is a paraphrase of a part of Old Testament scripture, the last part of Psalm 98:4

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praise. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity.

"Although it was originally a song of rejoicing for Jehovah's protection of His chosen people and the anticipation of the time when he would be the God of the whole earth, this psalm was intended by Watts to be a New Testament expression of praise. It exalts the salvation that began when God became incarnate as the Babe of Bethlehem who was destined to remove the curse of Adam's fall." (Kenneth W. Osbeck)

What better thing this season than to rejoice and shout for joy that our Savior has come to save us! Express gratitude for our Savior's birth with these words!

Joy to the world! the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King;
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room, and heav'n 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.

~ Jennifer Blackburn
Coon Rapids, Minnesota, USA

Today's Scripture Readings*
[Psalm 41, 52] [Zechariah 1:7-17] [Revelation 3:7-13] [Matthew 24:15-31]

Wow, Abba Daddy!!

Celebrate!! You've brought us "tidings of great JOY!" Lord, as I look back into the past and see what you have done in my life, I cannot do anything but rejoice for all that You have accomplished. You have gotten me through some very tough situations that I could not have handled without You. You have taken the worst and given me personal victory in each situation, even when the circumstances were anything but cheerful. Thanks Lord. I DO rejoice in You today.


*These readings are adapted from the Daily Office of the Book of Common Prayer, Year 2.  For Year 1 readings, see Daily Readings, Advent 1.

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