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Joy To The World

This week’s hymn is the Christmas carol, “Joy to the World.” The lyrics were written by Isaac Watts in 1719. Watts was born in  Southampton, Hampshire, England, in 1674. Besides being a prolific hymn writer, he was also an English Congregational minister, theologian, and logician. Watts wrote over 750 hymns, including “Alas, And Did My Savoir Bleed”, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross” and “Oh God, Our Help In Ages Past.”

The origin of “Joy To The World” is interesting. The text was written as a poem and not as a Christmas carol. Watts based the lyrics on Psalm 98. It speaks of a time when Christ will deliver Israel from the Gentile nations. In that passage, the Psalmist calls out for all of Israel to “shout joyfully to the Lord” and to “sing praises to the Lord”. This is not in response to the birth of the Savior but a celebration of His second coming and His reign over all the earth.

Over 100 years later Lowell Mason took the words penned by Isaac Watts and set them to music adapted from George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah.” Mason, born in Medfield, Mass., on January 8, 1792, was a leading figure in 19th-century music. He composed over 1,500 hymns including “Nearer My God To Thee”, “My Faith Looks Up To Thee” and “O For A Thousand Tongues.”

Mason published “Joy To The World” during the Christmas season of 1836. Perhaps this is why it has become one of the most favorite Christmas carols today.

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 men 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 sins and sorrows 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.

4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;
Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.
5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
With the lyre and the  sound of melody.
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD.
7 Let the sea roar and all it contains,
The world and those who dwell in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy
9 Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth;
He will judge the world with righteousness
And the peoples with equity.

Psalms 98:4-9

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Matt

    Merry Christmas, Tim and Family

    Very beautifully played. Thank you for sending it to us.

    Matt and Sue Wilson

    1. Tim Buege

      Thank you Matt! Wishing you and Sue a Merry Christmas!

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