Song to Share – Joy to the World
“Pastor, why don’t we sing Christmas songs during Advent? Why do we have to wait for Christmas?”
A good question. The radio stations started their Christmas programming right after Halloween. All the stores have cleared out the outdoor lawn items to make way for Christmas trees and decorations. We wonder who will be first on the block to turn on their Christmas lights.
I remember it was not until the second weekend in December that we would decorate our home for Christmas. Sure the Advent calendars were already out, and Christmas cards were sent and being received. And Santa Claus would arrive at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade down Woodward Avenue in Detroit, ending at the Hudson’s Department Store downtown to take his place on the royal throne for the coming month. But the tree wasn’t up until a few days of December had passed by.
In our home now, it’s usually Thanksgiving weekend that we decorate.
I will be honest with you – I am not a real stickler when it comes to when we can sing Christmas hymns. I do think there are some great Advent hymns I want to make sure we don’t miss along the way. And I hope that we don’t miss the season of anticipation and preparation that Advent brings. Let’s not rush to Christmas too fast, and be worn out with it by 5 pm on December 25th.
A great compromise of hymns for this time of year is the hymn “Joy to the World.” At first glance, most of us would likely call this a Christmas hymn. Yet in our hymnal it falls in the Advent section. A hymn to satisfy both camps!
If we look at the text, we can see that there is an Advent theme in it. ‘Let every heart prepare Him room.”
So I invite you to listen to the hymn once again. What catches your ear? What do these words mean to you?
Three recordings. The first is a recording from last year by a group called “Church on the Move.” So many wonderful recordings were made in these COVID days blending musicians and singers into a lovely montage.
The second is from the Acapella group Pentatonix.
And the third is a mashup of “Ode To Joy” and “Joy to the World” by the Piano Guys. Nothing like a good cellist to lead the way.
Church on the Move - https://youtu.be/NwbosHmw8TU
Piano Guys – Ode to Joy to the World - https://youtu.be/JyVEKsNFDjw
Pentatonix - https://youtu.be/yXAWz1jwCow
Let us pray: Almighty God, we behold your wonder in the splendor of a newborn. You are the giver of life. May we use this gift given to each of us to serve you along the way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen