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Christmas Worship : Joy to the world

Bethel Intern James cook looks at the carol Joy to the world.

This series is built on Worship Leader Paul Baloche Christmas Worship Devotional

Joy To The World

“…Repeat the sounding joy…”

Have you ever pondered these words? What do they really mean? Anyone living in 2015 would probably say that “JOY” is not the No.1 song currently playing on planet Earth. Our weary ears are tuned to the repetition of political doublespeak, international terror, fear, cell phones and traffic. But joy? Not so much.

Yet this 300-year-old hymn speaks of divine joy as if it’s reverberating through the universe like a holy pulsar. And according to scripture, that’s exactly what’s happening:

“…the heavens are TELLING of the glory of God…”  (Psalm 19:1)

“…the morning stars SANG together…” (Job 38:7)

“The hills gird themselves with REJOICING…” (Psalm 65:12)

“Thou hast made the dawn and the sunset to SHOUT for joy…”  (Psalm 65:8)

“Let the rivers CLAP their hands, let the mountains SING together for joy…” (Psalm 98:8)

Could it be that a psalm of praise is forever being sung by everything God has made? Everything, that is, except those creatures gifted with free will. Human beings can choose to remain silent, but creation does not have that choice. If we fail to praise Him, the very rocks will cry out (Luke 19:40).

Our world today seems to be suffering from a joy famine. Oh, sure, we can purchase pleasure, glitz, excitement, bling and boom…but joy? Joy is something we can’t buy. We can’t manufacture it. We can’t barter for it. We can’t even own it, because it is the property of the Holy Spirit.

Joy is the voice of Hope. It’s at the very heart of creation, woven together with Faith and Love. This three-strand chord cannot be broken, just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit cannot be separated. Mankind has long tried to possess joy apart from God, but that’s impossible. You can’t have joy without hope. You can’t have hope without faith, and you can’t have faith without love. It’s a package deal.

This Christmas, let us be aware of the great cloud of witnesses awaiting our voice in the divine symphony. Angels and saints, fields and forests, dawns and sunsets, rocks and meadows, mountains and valleys, rivers and oceans, planets and stars are waiting for mankind to return, repent and repeat the sounding joy. Selah.