“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.
 
What makes Christianity unique is the character of its ruler. Our ruler does not seek power over us or others. Our ruler does not hoard, cheat, spin the truth or conquer. Our ruler saves. It is a jarring image to sing that the "Savior reigns" at Christmas time. Our imaginations get pulled out from cooing over the baby and stretched to focus on the Ruler of the universe. We don't ever expect Rulers to save--or Saviors to rule. But with the birth of Jesus Christ, the world gets turned upside down. The Savior rules because grace will win the day in the end. Love does win. Love does trump hate. Because God is the act of pure love, God can save and rule. We are saved by love, by our ruler and in turn, Christian love can save those around us.
 
Lord, help us avoid the temptation of making you into an idol king. Your rule will save the world, but we often think our rule will do that too. Turn us back to you always. Amen.
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