Tag Archives: Rejoice

Advent – Week Three JOY

This week Ron and I lit the third candle on our Advent wreath, a light symbolizing JOY. It joined the lights of HOPE and PEACE.

     One of the most beloved Christmas Carols, “Joy to the World” was printed originally in 1719 in a collection written by Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and applied to the Christian State and Worship. It wasn’t written for Christmas.

     In this hymn, Watts asks nations to rejoice because God’s faithfulness to the house of Israel has delivered salvation.

1 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,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

2 Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3 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,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

4 He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love

     The short book of Philippians is one of my favorites in the Bible.

     The Apostle Paul references ‘joy’ or ‘rejoicing’ over a dozen times in the letter to his friends in Philippi. When he wrote this letter, he was under Roman house arrest, shackled 24/7 to a Roman guard. Not a very joyous place to be!

     Obviously, Paul had figured out having joy is not dependent on being in pleasant circumstances. I imagine he would have agreed with Henri Nouwen:

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.

     I’ve been struggling lately with the matter of joy, in a season when I must decide to keep choosing joy daily. The decision to “choose joy” can be difficult and confusing. In Thursday’s post, I will attempt to unpack the matter of joy a bit more. Until then…

Blessings to all as we rejoice in the fact: “the Lord is come…”

Sue Reeve