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Minister's Blog

December 2022

November 30, 2022

Joy to the World! The Lord is Come
I make no secret of my love and appreciation for hymns, especially those rich in doctrine and theology. Whether we intend it or not, many of our members have committed more songs (hymns) to memory than Bible verses. This is why our selection of hymns sung in corporate worship is so critical. I am so thankful for the abundance of hymns that help us reflect on the glory of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. As I type this article, The Baptist Hymnal (1991) lays open on my desk. Hymns focusing on the birth of the Lord Jesus or related events begin on page 76 and continue all the way to page 118. As I flip through the pages of this section, I am struck by the dating of these hymns. Many of these hymns are so old the writer is not even known. Many others were penned by men and women of yesteryear like Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Charles Wesley (1707-1788), George Whitefield (1714-1770), and John Francis Wade (1711-1786). These men were writing hymns at a time when the use of hymns was controversial. Protestant churches were struggling to discern whether they ought to allow the singing of anything other than scripture. This is one of the factors that led to these hymns being so rich and deep in theology. These hymns are still so precious and dear to us. Hymns like “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come” were written during this period of church history.
I want to encourage you this Christmas season to read some of the carols listed above with an eye to see the joyous tones and rich theology of these songs. These hymns remind us of the glorious significance of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in God’s plan of redemption for His fallen creation. Meditate on the lyrics of “Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come” below by Isaac Watts. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you experience the joy of the appearance of our Lord Jesus and to help you look forward in faith to His appearance which is to come!
Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let Earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room; And Heaven and nature sing…And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing
Joy to the Earth, the Savior reigns; Let all their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains; Repeat the sounding joy…Repeat, 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, Far as, 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…And wonders, wonders, of His love

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