Joy to the World
Scripture Reading — Psalm 98
Shout for joy before the Lord, the King. — Psalm 98:6
Joy is one of the highest and holiest experiences of human life. Joy has been defined as the response we have to being united with what we love. To journey to a desired destination brings joy. The arrival of a child at the end of a pregnancy brings joy. To experience freedom after a time in confinement brings joy.
Psalm 98 calls God’s people to active expressions of joy. Why? Because the Lord “has done marvelous things.” God’s saving love throughout the ages brings his people to new lands, new life, and new freedom. And the right response to all this is joy and rejoicing.
Music is especially well-suited to rejoicing. Musical melodies and rhythms get into us. They set our mouths to humming and our toes to tapping. Music involves our bodies, minds, and emotions. So, fittingly, the psalmist says, “Sing to the Lord a new song,” and invites the accompaniment of a range of instruments to celebrate the Lord’s kingship.
On this day, known as Christ the King Sunday, we lift songs of joy to celebrate that we have been reunited with God through Jesus. In him all our lesser experiences of joy find their eternal source and goal. And beholding him face to face one day will bring joy that resonates and resounds eternally.
Gracious God, let everyone receive Christ as King. “Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing” for joy! Amen.