So a few weeks ago I’m walkin’ to work basking in the joy of winter actually feeling like winter when out of the corner of my ear, I hear ‘Joy to the World’ playing from a nearby corner street music station. At first, I’m like, ‘December is over. No more Christmas music!’ But almost instantly I hear that still, small voice whispering…
…‘But Cam. Why not repeat the sounding joy?’
*Holy Spirit mic drop*
Of course, what can I say, but admit the truth…
…that notes and lyrics that seem out of place by cultural timelines should always be in place by daily surrender.
Among all the reasons Isaac Watts wrote the song, perhaps this in light of the cross’ power is the greatest key to his interpretation of Genesis 3:17-18, Psalm 96:11-12, and Psalm 98¹.
Of course, I could dive into a deeper analysis of the carol’s Scriptural inspirations (I may come back to this Christmas 2019). For now, understand there’s a reason why certain Christmas songs like, ‘Deck the Halls’ and ‘Joy to the World’ are the only ones that can cure my little Everly’s sadness. Seriously, Caeden (who just turned three) will start singing his ‘Fa, la, la, la’s’…and even if it’s a few minutes, all is calm, all is bright in the world.
*Note: You don’t need kids to extrapolate this example into your own life*
Bottom line: As you walk with God, receive the practical, prudent reminders of His goodness, peace, and joy even they momentarily disagree with the senses.
- Speaking of the latter, it’s interesting to note how he incorporated the passage into his song. As history shows, after Watt’s father challenged Isaac to write contrarian to his contemporaries, Watts started to pursue lyrics that not only exalted Christ, but also reminded Christians of their hope in his saving work on the cross. Clearly, this desire is evident in the way he wrote “Joy to the World” with Psalm 98:4 driving the song’s legacy home:
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!” And this is exactly what Watts set out to do. Little did he know that this song would spark a joyful noise that would ring through the ages.”