“Joy to the World,”

"Joy to the World," ELW 267

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.

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 the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sin and sorrow 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.

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.

"Joy to the World" is one of the few Christmas hymns that makes big assumptions. One of those assumptions is that Jesus Christ's birth is not just for humanity. Amid this world of violence and deep need, it is easy to narrow our focus on the good news of Jesus Christ as being for us--and only for us. But "Joy to the World" reminds us that nature is much, much older and often much wiser than we will ever be as a species. Nature knows the Savior. Nature knows the Savior in ways that we never can. Nature shares in God's glory in ways that we are often too busy to see. Yet this hymn invites us to "repeat the sounding joy" of the fields, floods, rocks, hills and plains. Christ's birth invites us to follow the lead of nature in praising his holy name.

Lord, you are pure joy. You rejoice in the natural world around us and without us. Please help us to stop taking for granted this beautiful place we call earth, our home. Amen.

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