December 19, 2021

‘Joy to the World’

Psalm 98:1-9

The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

—  Psalm 98:2

“Joy to the World” is not only a well-known Christmas song; it’s one of the first songs people want to sing on Christmas Day to celebrate Christ’s birth.

This song was written by Isaac Watts in 1719, and it is a Christological interpretation of Psalm 98. When we sing “Joy to the World,” we are proclaiming that Christ is the fulfillment of what the psalmist writes: “The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.” In the birth of Christ, we see God’s salvation plan being made known. In the life and death of Christ, we see the revelation of righteousness for all people.

The psalmist calls for the whole earth to respond with a “shout for joy.” And as “Joy to the World” puts it, both “heaven and nature sing,” and “fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy.” God’s salvation is made known with the coming of his Son to bring salvation.

We are called to make room in our hearts for the coming of our Lord. And we can join together with all creation in singing our praise to God for revealing his salvation everywhere.

Lord God, we join with all creation in singing your praise for revealing your salvation through Christ the Lord! Amen.

About the author — Brian Kuyper

Brian Kuyper is the lead pastor at a church in Taber, Alberta. He has served in two congregations in southern Alberta over the past 12 years. He is married to Brenda, and they have three school-age children.

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