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 Heaaaaaa-ven, and Heaven, and nature sing!

I know you’ve heard that last line sung with the confident (and often off-key) belt-out that only kids can muster. 🙂 But how much do you know about this famous Christmas carol? This short devotion talks about the origins of the song, and it comes from Christmas Karaoke, a 4-week family faith kit from Vanessa Myers that focuses on Christmas hymns!

One of the most well-known Christmas songs is Joy to the World. But did you know that this song is not based on the birth of Jesus, but actually comes from Psalm 98 found in the Old Testament? Yes… a song that was once actually meant to celebrate the second coming of Jesus turned into one of the most well-known Christmas songs celebrating the birth of Jesus (His first coming)!

If you look at Psalm 98:4-9, you will find that it mentions several things found in the first verse of Joy to the World. In Psalm 98 it talks about shouting for joy to the Lord. And it says, “all the earth.” So from that comes the title of the Joy to the World. So how about you take a second to “shout for joy to the Lord.” Make some noise. Be loud. Praise God! And go…..

The whole earth is receiving the King who has come into the world. And what we are to do is prepare room for Him in our heart. So how do we do that? We slow down. We make time to focus on Jesus. We read our Bibles, pray, and worship Him. Christmas time can be very busy but I challenge you to slow down and take time to spend worshiping God.

In other verses of Psalm 98, you find it talking about different parts of creation praising God: the sea, the people, the rivers, the mountains. All of these parts of creation come together to make noise and shout for joy to the Lord… they are singing praises to God for who He is. And that’s where the line “and Heaven and nature sing” comes from. All of Heaven and nature are singing and praising God.

So let’s remember to shout for joy to the Lord! Let’s remember to slow down and prepare room for Jesus in our hearts. And then let’s join in with Heaven and nature and sing our praises to God.

Let’s praise God for JOY has come to the world!

I hope this devotion encouraged you as much as it encouraged me this week (even though yes, I know it’s still the middle of November). And if you want to share this devotion – and more like it – with your families, check out Christmas Karaoke, a 4-week family faith kit based on popular Christmas hymns! Learn more about Christmas Karaoke here.

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