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“Joy to the World, the Lord Is Come!”

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Monday, November 28, 2022 @ 11:16 AM “Joy to the World, the Lord Is Come!” ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Joy Lucius The Stand Writer MORE

For those of us who grew up in church, there is a sweet memory tucked away of a long gone Christmas pageant with wise men dressed in daddies’ bathrobes and angels sporting white tablecloths and coat-hanger halos. We smile fondly as we recall stuffed animals and reluctant shepherds kneeling at the foot of a makeshift manger, in front of a mini version of Joseph and Mary, with her very best baby doll portraying Jesus. 

Admit it! Back then, the best part of the whole program was belting out in unison, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” It was the perfect ending to our childhood rendition of the greatest story ever told. It was also the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. 

Even now, Christmas is still the most joyous and anticipated season of the year for adults and children alike. Only Scrooge and the Grinch do not look forward to celebrating Christmas. In fact, most of us cannot wait for the coming celebrations with family and friends.

Considering that the word 'advent' comes from the Latin word 'adventus,' meaning 'coming,' Advent season is the perfect way for families to prepare hearts and souls to fully commemorate the upcoming celebration of the birth of Jesus. 

Of course, Advent takes place each year over the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, so the 2022 Advent season begins on Sunday, November 27, and ends on Saturday, December 24. 

But this year more than ever, Christians should eagerly (and expectantly) celebrate Advent knowing that the coming return of our King could occur any day. With that thought in mind, the words of this beloved Christmas carol – written in 1719 by Isaac Watts as a paraphrase of Psalm 98 – ring truer than ever before.   

Joy to the World 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! 

Let earth receive her King; 

let every heart prepare him room 

and heaven and nature sing, 

and heaven and nature sing, 

and heaven, and heaven and nature sing. 

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! 

Let men 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 let sins and sorrows grow 

nor thorns infest the ground; 

he comes to make his blessings flow 

far as the curse is found, 

far as the curse is found, 

far as, far as the curse is found. 

He rules the world with truth and grace 

and makes the nations prove 

the glories of his righteousness 

and wonders of his love, 

and wonders of his love, 

and wonders, wonders of his love. 

This carol was the inspiration and centerpiece for Bible teacher and podcast host Hannah Anderson’s new book, Heaven and Nature Sing: 25 Advent Reflections to Bring Joy to the World. Illustrated by her husband Nathan Anderson, an ordained minister and illustrator, this Advent devotional offers readers a personal encounter with the Creator and His creation each day of the Advent season. 

Considering that a 2018 survey from Lifeway Research showed that 65% of Americans think Christmas should be more about Jesus, Anderson’s book might be the perfect resource for families and small groups desiring to make Jesus the reason for the season. 

If so, Heaven and Nature Sing introduces Advent with the timely topic of “Wintering,” reminding readers that even in the seemingly lifelessness of winter, the beauty and power of our Creator is always evident in His creation.

Anderson also explores the elements of Psalm 98 in relation to the promised Son of God during the four weeks of Advent through four sections that celebrate the hope, faith, joy, and peace of the story of the coming King. 

Best of all, the 165 pages of this beautiful book literally abound with Scriptures. In fact, Anderson includes a glossary of Bible passages referenced within each day’s reading. This bonus material makes a great resource for group discussions or family time, while providing readers further study tools for examining and celebrating this holiday season through the lens of God’s Word. 

For if we really stop and think about it, the Bible tells the Advent story of our Savior from cover to cover. And within the pages of Heaven and Nature Sing, we can celebrate the unbelievable, amazing Advent story, the story of how the God of all Creation sent His one and only Son to redeem His fallen creations. 

Hallelujah! What a story! 

And someday, possibly soon, we will celebrate the final coming of Jesus Christ our King when He returns for His redeemed Bride to take us Home to celebrate forever. 

On that day, all of creation will surely sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”  

***Find Heaven and Nature Sing at christianbook.com. 

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