The 12 Days Leading to Christmas – Day 10 – “Joy to the World!”

David Stertz
December 23, 2022

This is day 10 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.”  Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here.

Today I highlight for you “Joy to the World” written by the famed 18th century hymn writer Isaac Watts. Watts never intended this to be a Christmas carol! He wrote it as a paraphrase of the last five verses of Psalm 98. Watts interpreted the psalm through the lens of Christ. Over time, Christians began to see this as a wonderful hymn to sing at Christmas time as it points our hearts to what Jesus Christ means for humanity. 

The tune that we now sing to it comes from Lowell Mason (tune writer to “Nearer, My God to Thee”). He borrowed certain strands from portions of Handel’s Messiah to construct the tune. 

The hymn focuses our attention as much on the second coming of Jesus as His first coming. In His first coming we see a taste of the goodness that is to come. Like all great Christmas carols, we rarely separate the first and second comings of Jesus – one leads to the other. 

Here are the lyrics:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
let ev’ry heart prepare him room
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n, and heav’n 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 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.

Have a listen:

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