Throughout this 2015 Advent season, the Sojourn family of churches has come together to record a series of Advent hymns for your enjoyment and edification. Each Thursday, we’ll be releasing one song together with a blog post.
This week’s release is a rearrangement of the classic Advent hymn Joy to the World. The lyrics were written by Isaac Watts in 1719 and later adapted to music by Lowell Mason in 1839. The text was originally titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom” when it first appeared in Watt’s Psalms of David Imitated. It was his interpretation of Psalm 98:3-6.
The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
The lyrics below draw from the theme of joy in the verses above, specifically joy in the coming Messiah. In singing this song, we celebrate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who has come to make His blessings flow as far as the curse of sin and death is found. "As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). What a beautiful, merry redemption we enjoy! Let's repeat this sounding joy!
Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
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.
Hallelujah, for the Lord is come!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah the Lord is come!
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.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove,
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.