Christmas is a sure sign that God came for the whole world.

The Reason Why We Can Sing “Joy to the World”

Sunday Scripture

When my sons were all small, they loved playing Hide and Seek. Sometimes it was a big, summer-time game with the whole family hiding outside in the bushes, sometimes just a simple one-on-one at bedtime, but one son in particular would get so overcome with excitement he couldn’t contain the secret. “I’m ‘hind the door!” he would shout as his father pretended to look for him under the bed and in the closet.

As we come to the end of our reading through Isaiah, we find God joyfully shouting his own, “Here I am, here I am!” to a nation with an uneven record in the business of seeking after God. In the New Testament, Paul picks up God’s words in the key of grace, giving us permission to rejoice that God has persisted in being found and known:

I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;
    I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
    to a nation that was not called by my name.
I spread out my hands all the day
    to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
    following their own devices;

Isaiah 65:1, 2

And All God’s Gentile Children Said, “Amen!”

Christmas is a sure sign that God came for all nations.

Christmas is a sure sign that God came for all nations.


Wherever you are this December, alone in your kitchen humming along with your playlist, caroling outside in your neighborhood, or singing behind a mask in a socially distanced congregation, let “Joy to the World” take you back to the book of Isaiah where a Son of David is promised as God’s chosen King. Then ponder the jarring juxtaposition of King with Suffering Servant, all fulfilled by the Son of God, God’s Messenger who announces grace and wrath in one hopeful message

Joy to the world!
The evil you have done and the evil you have suffered have not been forgotten or ignored!
Tremble and then rejoice, for all God’s wrath was poured out upon Jesus when he chose the cross.
Merry Christmas!

We made it!

We made it through Isaiah!
We made it through the Advent season and Christmas!
And in a few days, Lord willing, we’ll be able to say we made it through 2020!

I expect every single one of us is coming to this moment with different shades of emotion. Joy and exhaustion can sometimes be close cousins, and while I’m breathing a sigh of relief and hoping for a few hours of solitude in the days before 2021 land, maybe you’ve had it with isolation and long for some personal interaction.

Let me know in the comments below how I can be praying for you, and I know this is a praying community, so let’s uphold one another as we begin a new year and trust for grace to end well.

Joy to the world!
The evil you have done and the evil you have suffered have not been forgotten or ignored!
Tremble and then rejoice, for all God’s wrath was poured out upon Jesus when he chose the cross!
Merry Christmas!

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39 thoughts on “The Reason Why We Can Sing “Joy to the World””

  1. Both of our children couldn’t contain their excitement when playing hide-n-seek. One would giggle from their hiding place; the other would tell us where to look. How wonderful to know our God desires to be found when we seek Him. I am so grateful He came for all nations, all people, for all time!

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    1. It’s so clear and such a huge announcement when God’s love begins to extend to all nations in the prophetic record. We are blessed to be able to sing Joy to the World and to prepare Him room!

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  2. Count me in with the group who has had it with isolation! I am ready for some people-ing. My grandchildren love to play hide and seek. They are impatient to be found too. Thank goodness God called to us so we know where and how to find him!

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  3. I am praising God with you, Michele, that God sent his Son into the WORLD so ALL who come to him might be saved. It is a wondrous reality. God could have been satisfied with saving his chosen people; their numbers are certainly sufficient to keep him company. But he loves us ALL–no matter our pedigree or lack thereof. With you I pray, “Let earth receive her King!”

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  4. I love being home and spending time alone but I too (like Laura) am ready to travel, to see family & friends near and far and gather in groups once again. I would love for my son to experience at least one full month in the school building and get to meet his teachers and classmates– this has been such a weird introduction to public schooling/high school for us.

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  5. My three-old-grandson LOVES playing Hide-and-Seek – and He cannot HELP calling out when he thinks we do not know where he is – who cannot hear his giggles! You are, indeed, a wordsmith Michele! I love how you say – ““Here I am, here I am!” to a nation with an uneven record in the business of seeking after God.” – and the sentence after! I am so glad He came for those who He didn’t call, though. I rejoice that He turned his heart toward the gentiles! Joy to the World! Yes! Praying God’s Joy and Shalom fill your 2021! ~ Maryleigh

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  6. Joy can be found because Joy is with us all of the time. I am so grateful to our God Who draws near to us. He calls out to us; has our names written on the palms of His hands. Joy came to us as a Babe and was calling us to Himself even then. Hallelujah!

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  7. How wonderful to think of God announcing his arrival with the delight of a child!

    When I think that God has made a way for gentiles to enjoy the blessings of salvation – what grace! what mercy!

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  8. Beautiful message, Michele! I have been focusing on joy as we brought 2020 to a close. Perspective and gratitude are my focus in the new year. And I think those are the key elements to experiencing exponential joy. I do plan to sing it right out loud when the spirit moves me! Thanks so much for sharing and linking with me. Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy new year!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    Like

  9. In this darkest of years, the light and joy in the world has kept me strong: I sang with gusto to give thanks! Thank you for linkin up with #dreamteamlinky

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  10. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    Liked by 1 person

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