In this carol, we sing joyfully to the world and to the coming of the rightful King of the world. He is the One who made it and all who are in it. Every heart is urged to prepare and make room for Him so that He can be received gladly into our hearts. Nature will also join heaven in song. When Christ comes again, creation will be liberated from its bondage to decay.
We are invited to join heaven and nature in their jubilant song. The creation: land, rocks, hills and plains – will also join in the great chorus, where all of creation will sing praises to God.
This joy is continued when Christ removes the curse of sin from the human story. Genesis 3 spells out the effects of the curse in the human heart and on the earth. However, when Christ returns in glory, there will be no more sin and sorrow in human lives, and no more thorns on the ground. The curse will be removed far from us, and the blessings will flow relentlessly from the heart and hand of the God who loves us.
The final stanza gives us hope of how life would be in the eternal kingdom under the perfect rule of Christ. He will rule with “truth and grace”, a phrase that connects the song with Christ’s first coming.
Christmas does not only look back at the birth of Christ, but also towards His second coming. Both comings are connected and make each other meaningful. ‘Joy to the World’ helps us to understand this and urges us to break into joyful songs as we look back in faith and gratitude, and look forward with hope.
Jesus, you are the joy of the world. We make room in our heart to receive You with gladness. We look forward to the day when there will be no more tears and no more death, for You will rule with truth and grace.