The Songs We Will Sing.

#81: Joy to the World: Words by Isaac Watts: 1719 Music by Lowell Mason 1884 based on Handel: 1742

#82: Ode to Joy, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee: Words by Henry Van Dyke: 1907: Music by Beethoven: 1824

What a wonderful word joy is! The dictionary describes it as gladness, exhilaration of spirits. It lists synonyms of pleasure, delight, happiness, felicity, bliss, rapture, ecstasy, merriment and gaiety. Joy is the opposite of worry, anxiety, gloom, sadness, depression, fear, mourning, agony and regret. And the story of Christmas, which is the same all year round, tells us that Joy came to the earth in the form of the Christ child. The words, joy, rejoice and joyful recur throughout the Bible. God really does want us to be happy, joyful people and He has given us every provision to be so. It is only when we take our eyes off his provision and focus on the problems around us that all those negative emotions that are the antonym of joy take over.

There is a hint on how to obtain this joy in the opening lines of the song, Joy to the World; it is to prepare room in our hearts for the Lord. So this year while we are preparing; buying and wrapping the presents, decorating the house, sending cards, buying and preparing food and all the things we do to prepare for Christmas, remember to prepare our hearts to receive our King because that is where the joy starts.

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,

The next Joy song, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, is simply a beautiful song in words and arrangement. It is always a good time to sing this wonderful song. The words and music are upbeat and an ever present reminder of the bountiful blessings available to us through the joy divine.

Unfortunately, Christianity and religion in general, bring up a lot of negative emotions in many folk. I am convinced that this is because we really do not understand what is being offered in God’s gift to the world. God’s amazing gift of indescribable riches and divine joy is lost in dogma and tradition and church rules and ticking boxes and requests for money and going through the motions of cardboard Christianity. Such a shame because we are being offered something truly life changing.

I invite you to listen to these songs, to dwell on the words, to look into the joy that is being offered and prepare our hearts to receive this joy.

The clip above is a flash mob of Ode to Joy and the clip below is a Childrens’ Choir. For a song which thought was fairly common, I had a very difficult time trying to find suitable clips.

Just on a closing note. This song, Ode to Joy is the anthem of the European Union. If only folks actually listened and followed the words.

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