How Great, Our Joy

images_1980_80_30While by the sheep we watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.
How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!

There shall be born, so He did say,
In Bethlehem a Child today.
How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!

There shall the Child lie in a stall,
This Child who shall redeem us all.
How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
That ever joy our hearts shall fill.
How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!

Words & Music are a traditional German carol

 


Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalm 47:1

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 2:8 – 20

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13


 

Have you ever stopped to consider what was the happiest moment in your life. What one event has given you the greatest joy. I know that for me, I am hard pressed to narrow it down to one event. It could be the day I was married, the birth of my children, or many other events.

But as great as these events are, I think I am missing something. Having been raised in a Christian family and coming to faith at a very early age I have a tendancy to overlook one important event. Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change this for anything. But I can’t help but think I missed the joy of Jesus being revealed to me for the first time.

When I hear the words of the old Christmas Carol, “How Great, Our Joy” I begin to get a glimpse that joy. Imagine what it wound have been like to be there when that news was declared for the first time.

The writer begins to recount the events of Luke 2:8 – 20 with the words, “While by the sheep, we watched at night. Glad tidings brought, an angel bright.”

Imagine you are sitting there on an ordinary night when all of the sudden an angel appears out of no where, and not simply an angel but he is surrounded by the very glory of God. From this startling sight came the news that had been so long waited for, the promised Messiah had been born. The joy must have been unmatched. To know that the long wait was finally over, the Savior had come.

Now as great as this joy is, it does not stop there. This same joy goes out to the whole world. This is why the angel declared, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” So the carol continues with these words, “There shall the Child lie in a stall, This Child who shall redeem us all.” It is a joy for all people, calling us to the words of Psalm 47:1 “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”

Wht is the greatest joy? In this Christmas season take time to remember the magnificent truth. That we have been given the good news. The news that we have not been forgotten. The news that God came to earth. The news that Jesus was born to save the world.

When we truly understand this, we shall find the greatest joy of all. Then we can join our voices with all who know this joy declaring, “Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!”

 

 

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