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The Christmas Carol That is not a Christmas Carol

Updated on November 29, 2016

It seems that one of the favorite things for most of us to do during the Christmas season is to sing the old Christmas carols. Each year our church organizes a carol sing This year we walked through the town handing out a Christian DVD to those we passed as we sang the carols in the streets of Bellefonte. Last year we visited a large apartment complex for the elderly and stopped at each door to offer our often imperfect renditions of the songs of the season. Again, at the Sunday service on Christmas day we sang our favorite carols. Included were Silent Night, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, Angels We Have Heard on High, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World, and many others.

Oh, wait! Did I say Joy to the World? Well, we did sing it - each and every time. And why not? It certainly is a staple among the carols known and appreciated by all. But I prefer to think of Joy to the World not as a Christmas carol, but as a song to be sung all year long. A quick look at the lyrics will make it clear that this is not necessarily about the Christmas season.In fact, Joy to the World is really about the second coming of Christ and His millennial reign.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Obviously earth did not receive her King at Christ's first advent, nor have we yet to receive Him. Scripture tells us that right now satan is the god of this world, but when Christ returns in His glory He will be King. I can hardly wait!

And Heaven and nature sing
At Christ's first coming nature was still in disarray from the curse of the fall, just as it is today. But the day is coming when all nature will sing of its glorious Creator and the lion will lie down with the lamb.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Although Christ came to set men free, he has yet to reign in most hearts, much less world government. Oh, but praise His name - the day is coming when He will sit upon the throne of the world. Repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sin and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
While all of the creation groans today - while sorrows fill our hearts and thorns replace the beautiful, there is a day perched on the horizon when the curse will be lifted and the wonderful blessings of our God will flow unhindered.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
wonders of His love
I believe the time of Christ's return is closer than we think. Rather than singing Joy to the World only at Christmas time, perhaps we ought to consider making it the theme of the New Year. As Isaac Watts penned the words to this beautiful song, he had something deeper in mind and 2017 could be the year. Happy New Year to all of you and Joy to the World!


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    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      We don't sing it often at our church other than Christmas time, but there's no reason not to. It's as fitting as any other hymn used for worship. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      Agreed this one could be sung year round. I appreciated your commentary by verse and how that applies to us today and concerning future events.


    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for the visit HD. It's always good to hear to from you. Yes, joy needs to be year round. I hope the song reminds us of that!

    • profile image

      His daughter 6 years ago

      I am SO thanksful that JOY and JOY TO THE WORLD is a year round melody that can flow from our lives. I pray it will grow mightily in and through you lifegate. Blessings!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      CM, Thanks for the visit. Good to hear from you. Have a wonderful New Year!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I am sorry I missed this one lifegate....what a refreshing way to sing this song AFTER reading this...

      I think we sometimes take words to some songs too lightly....WOW, how wonderful that song IS.

      I guess I knew this before, but YOU have made me a lover of this song...

      Thank YOU for sharing this...

      and congrats on your 100th hub!



    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      You do the same! Thanks for stopping by.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Indeed! :) In the face of this world's present groaning, we do have much to be thankful for as Believers today, and much to look forward to!

      Have a safe and forward thinking New Year! :)

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Can you imagine the impact that would have if the song was on all of our lips all year round? Truly we might see joy to the world! Thanks for the visit. It's always good to hear from you.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evi Lopez 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I agree, this is a song that should be sung all year round. In my heart the Lord is and will always be King. He reigns in the hearts of His people now and forever. Amen? Thanks for sharing.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thanks for the visit. I still sing the song at Christmas and I do believe God is honored in it (although I may be a bit off-key). He is the King. That's the bottom line. Glad to hear from you!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      It's always good to hear from you. I'm looking forward to that day as well. Could be today!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      MsDora, Thank you for the observation. Yes, Jesus IS King--always was, always will be! Thanks for stopping by.

    • David Legg 7 profile image

      David Legg 7 6 years ago from Trout Paradise, Colorado

      The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend. Nicely written hub, and you are exactly right about the meaning, but I think if someone sings it intent on celebrating Chritmas, God is still honored. Thank you for sharing.


    • GodTalk profile image

      Jeff Shirley 6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      You are absolutely right on with this Hub. It will be a wonderful day when we can sing this song in eternity together. I am looking forward to that day! Thanks for writing. God bless you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

      I totally agree with the points you make. I just want to share for your observation that some congregations sing "Joy to the world, the Lord IS come" referring to the first advent. Jesus is King from the beginning whether or not His kingship is recognized.

      Other congregations sing "Joy to the world, the Lord WILL come, in reference to the second coming. These sing the song all year round.

      I believe that both groups will say "Amen" to your hub.