Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Joy to the World

One of my callings in Church is Relief Society chorister. I get to pick the music for the lessons. Two of the lessons of the month I know in advance, the other two I usually find out on Saturday, or on Sunday when I see the teacher for that lesson. The 17th of December was one of those Sundays that I knew in advance. I decided at the last minute to check with the teacher to see if the songs I had picked out would be okay. She told me that she had changed the lesson, so it would be okay if I picked out some Christmas songs instead. I asked her if she had a favourite, and she picked Joy to the World. I decided to do it after her lesson. All of my life, this song has been just a Christmas song. After her lesson, though, I've seen it in a new light. Her lesson was on the Second Coming of Christ, and this song fits so well, almost even better than as a Christmas song.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev'ry heart prepare him room,
And Saints and angels (heaven and nature) sing, and Saints and angels sing,
And Saints, and Saints and angels sing.

Rejoice! Rejoice when Jesus reigns,
And Saints, 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 will sin and sorrow grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He'll come and make the blessings flow
Far as the curse was found, far as the curse was found,
Far as, far as, the curse was found.

Rejoice! Rejoice in the Most High,
While Israel spreads abroad
Like stars that glitter in the sky,
And ever worship God, and ever worship God,
And ever, and ever, worship God.


Pat said...

I just learned this year that Joy to the World was inspired by Handel's "The Messiah." If you put it in that context it kind of fits.

There's one for the pointless factoid book.

Comejolo said...

Thank you for sharing! Reading it in that context increased the meaning ten fold.

Perry said...

Wonderful insight into a song I have always just viewed almost as a "Christmas Jingle". The key is to read beyond the first line of the song. Given the fact that there is no mention of his birth in the entire song, merely the discussion of his divine reign, it really is a hymn of the second coming, not of the story of his birth.