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Joy to the World!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! PS 98:4 ESV

Joy to the Earth, The Savior reigns; Let Men their Songs employ; While Fields & Floods, Rocks, Hills & Plains Repeat the sounding Joy.—Joy to the World vs 2 by Isaac Watts.

Joy to the World the famous Christmas hymn written by Issac Watts was inspired by Psalm 98. Both this song and the Psalm that came before it remind us of the sovereignty of God and His faithfulness to His children. They also remind us that creation unceasingly bursts forth in a song of praise to our Creator.

On a recent trip to West Texas to serve a group of under-served under-privileged youth, I was reminded of nature’s joyful song of praise. Myself and three other of our guides had just finished up at the Franklin Mountains and decided to take a quick detour through the Guadalupe Mountains on our way home. We hiked up McKittrick Canyon in search of illusive early fall color from the isolated population of big tooth maples that cling to the steep canyon walls and rocky bottom. We were too early for much of the vibrant red, yellow and orange hues that the canyon is known for. Near the end of our hike a small herd of about 6 mule deer wandered right into our path. The young fawns frolicked and played together while the mature does looked on and peacefully went about their business grazing on the plentiful grasses from unexpected fall rains. I was struck by the beauty and simplicity of the scene before me, and my heart joyfully echoed nature’s song of praise to our Lord.

Christmas season is a time of joy and hope for all the world. It reminds us that hope broke through into this lost and dying world on a starry night long ago in Bethlehem. Because of Christmas we can find joy and peace in Christ in any circumstance. Because of Christmas we have the unwavering hope that in the words of my daughter’s storybook bible “one day our Savior will make all the sad things come untrue.” This Christmas season may you find some time in God’s creation to joyfully add your heart’s voice to the melodious strains that all of heaven and nature sing.

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