Hymns are one of my favorite parts of worship. They add a beauty that is indescribable and help us to proclaim and worship God. We are blessed with many hymns that praise God in amazing ways. For the next several months we will be looking at some of the hymns we sing and diving into the meaning of what we are singing. This will give us a greater understanding of the praise we are giving to God and why we should give it.
Joy To the World was by Isaac Watts and was written in 1719. It is based of Psalm 98. The amazing part of this hymn was that it wasn’t meant to be a Christmas carol. It was originally a poem about the second coming of Jesus. The second half of the poem is the hymn that we all know and love. The Hymn starts of strong with “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” I think we often forget how truly significant the first 8 words are. Many people will also sing it wrong. The confusion lies with the word “is”. The common mistake is to sing has because it is more natural, but that is wrong! The meaning is that Christ came already and is still with us now! We see this in Matthew 28:19-20 “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus said it Himself; He is always with us so that is how we should sing it!
The third verse is also worth highlighting. Specifically, “He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found” What is this curse? Well, the curse is something that is in all of creation and that is sin. We see evidence of this curse everywhere we look. Thankfully the redemption that Jesus won for us covers all of us! In Galatians 3:13-14 “13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” Without Jesus we would be nothing. We would be damned to an eternity in hell because we are sinful creatures. Thankfully, Jesus took our curse with Him onto the cross so that we can be forgiven and redeemed and because we are forgiven and redeemed, we get to spend eternal life with Jesus in Heaven.
This Hymn is a celebration of what Jesus would come to do for all of us and what is to come. We are celebrating the ultimate joy that we have in Jesus and that is the best Christmas present we could ever get.
In Christ Alone
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