Joy to the World  

Jesus came! It was announced in a most uncommon way to common shepherds in Bethlehem’s outlying fields. An angelic messenger proclaimed the joyous news of the coming of the Messiah, calming the terrified shepherds with the words, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” 

The heart cry of Isaac Watts’ “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,”[i] (as his perpetually popular Christmas carol declares) continues to echo the glad proclamation of that heavenly messenger. 

You may wonder when the original Christmas Day was. Many do, but the date does not matter. If the Lord’s actual birthday had any bearing on our relationship with Him, the Gospels would have told us when it was. What is more important than the day He came is the reality that He came.  

Several different midwinter celebrations have been established for heathen heroes and gods throughout the centuries. Their festivals have extolled illegitimate deities from the Winter Solstice, to Saturnalia, even to the Pagan Sun god, Mithra, and beyond. Similarly, the ancient Greeks proliferated their wicked and blooded Dionysian traditions, but the name of Jesus has overcome every such “calendar pollution.” 

The truth is that the coming of Christ has obliterated all such illicit glory and remembrance regardless of what is venerated, because every day is His! What is the fame of saints, gods, and great men compared to the glory of Christ? Christmas is even acknowledged by nations that know next to nothing about Him. No wonder, that as the 20th Century concluded, “Joy to the World” was the most-published Christmas hymn in North America. News of the Savior’s coming is still, “good tidings of great joy.”  

[i] Public Domain, Text: Isaac Watts, 1719; based on Psalm 98  

source : Ousus

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