Advent Reflection: Joy to the World

Advent Reflection: Joy to the World

by Claire Berger

Reflection

Miles Davis said, "In music, silence is more important than sound." If that is true for people, think of what God can do. Think of what God has done. There were four hundred years of silence and then came the baby's cry with a host of angels. What a chorus.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King.

And the chorus that broke out was not an enemy to the silence that came before it. Sound and silence are no strangers. These antonyms are friends. In music, a rest in sound creates dynamics that make the music come alive.

As the lyrics continue, we sing,
No more let sin and sorrows grow
No thorns infest the ground
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

His blessings sometimes grow in silence like a seed in the ground. But like the song says we can plant our gardens and pull our weeds in hope and joy. I live in a townhome and my only weeds come up through the cracks in the driveway, but you get the metaphorical idea.

God's blessings flow in places that need tending and produce fruit like our friendships, work, and neighborhoods. His blessings flow there because the King is there. And as we sing and we laugh and we live and we work, by his grace God tends to us.

He pulls the weeds in our hearts and he grows our loves. And if it feels like silence, we know a dynamic is coming that will bring things to life. We sing joy to the world because our King is alive. And this earth is his.

If you hear silence, have no fear. The chorus will come. The sound is growing.

Join us for lessons and carols as we sing, "Joy to the World." Let heaven and nature and City Church sing.

Prayer

Father, help us welcome the silence in which you delight to speak. May we hear you whisper gentle words of comfort so that we can respond with joyful songs of praise. Jesus, angelic songs announced your birth, but a silent suffering marked your death. As a sheep before its shearers is silent, you did not open your mouth so that we may now open our mouths with words of worship. Holy Spirit, you hovered in silence over the surface of the deep at creation, and with words brought all things to be that still have their being in you today. In a similar way, please speak into the deep and silent places of our hearts, redeeming us so that light and life and song overflow.

Joy to the World lyrics

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

Joy to the world, now we sing

Let the earth receive her King

Joy to the world, now we sing

Let the angel voices ring

Joy to the world, now we sing

Let men their songs employ

Joy to the world, now we sing

Repeat the sounding joy

Oh oh

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The light of his righteousness

And wonders of his love

And wonders of his love

And wonders of his love

And wonders, wonders, of his love

And wonders, wonders, of his love

Joy to the world, now we sing

Let the earth receive her King

Joy to the world, now we sing

Let the angel voices ring