Monday December 3, 2012
Do you have joy?
We sing it each Christmas: Joy to the world. But do we have it?
The first Sunday of Advent is the day of joy. Today we sang “Joy to the World,” Isaac Watt’s great hymn based on Psalm 98. He wrote “Joy to the World” as a hymn, not a Christmas carol. Centuries later it was incorporated into a Christmas program and embraced as a Christmas carol.
Do we have joy?
Can we have joy?
And why should we?
A look at Psalm 98 answers that question.
First of all, we have joy because we are redeemed. Verses 1 and 2 talk about the “new song” we should sing because God has made His salvation known. Salvation wrapped in swaddling clothes. The hope of the world lay one cold winter's night in a rude manger bed. He would know harsher times--pain and betrayal--in order to redeem us.
We have joy because we’re restored. Verse 3 tells us He has remembered his love and faithfulness to His people. Not that He ever forgot—He has underlined it, emphasized it, committed to it once again. And because He has restored us, we and the creation will be relieved from death and decay (Romans 8:19-21). There’s joy in our restoration, as the babe who lay in the manger one dark night works today and tomorrow from on high to bring all things into the Father’s plan.
We have joy because we are rescued. The rivers can clap their hands (verse 8) because He will be back to gather us in. We’re rescued by His grace hourly, daily, and forevermore.
Advent is more than looking back to the manger; it catches a glimpse of not only the cross but the empty tomb and, most of all, the eastern sky.
Do we know joy?
And at this most wonderful season brimming with celebration, are we willing to share it? What a natural, wonderful, perfect time to remember the words of the angel in Luke 2, “Do not be afraid.”
Speak of your joy. Let it move you to action as you reach out to open a door, thank someone, stoop to help…and tell of its source.
Let your joy slosh over on those around you.
Be “joy to the world” today.
I'm linking up with Laura, Jen, and Michelle today.