2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

December 11 – Joy To The World (A Christmas Carol Advent)





The words to this song were written by Isaac Watts in 1719.  The melody was composed by Lowell Mason.  The song was originally written as a celebration of the second coming of Christ and was not written as a Christmas song.

Commentary & Analysis

It is interesting that this song, which actually deals with the second coming of Christ has become such a popular Christmas song.  Let’s have a look at some of the lyrics which clearly point to the second coming of Christ.  The very first verse implores “let earth receive her King.”  We know that when Jesus came the first time, born in a manger in Bethlehem, he came as a suffering servant.  When he comes the second time it will be as a conquering King to reign over his creation.  This reign of the Savior is also mentioned in the second verse.  The third verse indicates the redemption of nature.  In the letter to the Romans, Paul explains:

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  [Romans 8:20-22 ESV]

When Christ came the first time, he came to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.  We he comes the second time, he will establish his rule and dominion.  In the words of John, “Come, Lord Jesus!”come!

Questions for further Reflection / Devotion

The following questions are meant for your reflection and or devotion.  Feel free to meditate on them, discuss them with your family or others or post your responses here.  I would love to hear from you.

  1. How do you let Jesus Christ reign in your heart?  What areas of your life are you reluctant to Jesus Christ control of?
  2. This song refers to the curse of sin that entered the world in Genesis 3.  What is your view of the serpent, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?  Do you believe it is a literal story?
  3. To what extent do you believe we can have joy and peace in this temporal world?  How much do we have to wait for and how much can we have now?
  4. Take some time to contemplate the “wonders of his love.”  What does that phrase mean to you?
  5. Spend some time this Christmas time thinking about the second coming of Christ.  What do you think it will be like?  Are you looking forward to that day?


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 blessing 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.

Return to a Christmas Carol Advent index page.