"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 World, 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 blessings 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."
Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year”! What makes it wonderful is the joy and festive atmosphere the season brings. This joy and festivity is best articulated through the words, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14) This “peace” referred to is peace between God and man that had been disrupted by Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:6-13) Adam's sin also opened the door to the curse to plague mankind and nature. (Genesis 3:17-19) Peace between God and man was restored by the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for Adam's sin and the sin of mankind. Jesus was made a curse for us so that we can enjoy the blessings of Abraham. (Galatians 3:13-14)
Wait. Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. He did not shed His blood at Calvary until 33 years later! How could "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men" be referring to peace between God and man when Jesus' sacrifice had not been made yet? "...God...calls those things which do not exist as though they did". Romans 4:17
God, Our Heavenly Father, did not wait until after Jesus had been resurrected from the dead to celebrate the victory that Jesus' sacrifice would accomplish. He sent an angel to herald the Good New of the Savior's birth to the shepherds in the same country where Jesus was born. Then God, Our Heavenly Father, sent the host of angels to celebrate the victory that was to come. (Don't wait till the battle is over. Shout now!)
The lyrics of the Christmas carol, Joy to the World, by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), articulate the significance of the celebration of the angels on that Bethlehem night so long ago: Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, is also King who reigns in truth and grace. The blessings that are available to us through acceptance of His sacrifice for us far exceed the curse that came because of sin. There is glory in His righteousness (our right standing with God as well as His way of doing things), and in the wonders of His love. With all of that, what is not to celebrate?