This is the third podcast in our Advent 2023 series. Did you miss the second one about “O Holy Night”? You can watch it here.
If there’s one word that can sum up the Christmas season it’s joy! But while the world offers superficial excitement over presents or food, Christians have ultimate joy in Christ Jesus. In this podcast, we dive into the theology of the carol: Joy to the World. This is one of the most popular carols of the Christmas season, yet it was never written as a Christmas song! Instead, this carol celebrates the second coming of Christ. In the first verse, we see how Christ is the true King of this world. We also see how each person is to make room for Christ, which requires some spiritual housecleaning of the heart.
In verses 2 and 3 we get a picture of the bondage of sin and the earth’s ultimate restoration with Christ’s return. We see how the curse of Adam in Genesis 3 parallels the growth of sin in human nature. Thankfully believers can cry out in joy along with the hills and plains as we will all be restored by the grace of God. We then see in verse 4 how the resurrection and ultimate return of Christ causes the nations to affirm the power and majesty of God.
Parents are offered three ways to nurture joy this season. First, we can watch the OU women’s softball team testify to the source of their joy, and compare that with the revelation of the Grinch as to the true source of joy in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Second, parents can respect those who are grieving while encouraging that all grief will ultimately pass when Christ returns. Third, we can reflect on ways in which we are allowing our joy to be taken by focusing on worldly troubles. We then refocus on the nature and truths of God to protect our hearts during trials. May this be a blessing to you this holiday season.
Main Points Covered
- The history and theology of Joy to the World
- Fun ways to nurture joy within the season of Christmas
- How to handle grief within the season of Christmas — both your own and the grief of others.
- How to reflect on where you may be finding your joy.
People and Resources Mentioned
- Colossians 1:13
- 1 Chronicles 29:18-19
- Genesis 3:17-19
- Psalm 98:2-3
- Gospel Coalition Article on Joy to the World
- OU Girls Softball link
- The Grinch Movie
The Heart: The Bible speaks of the heart as the motivation, the will and desire of each human being.
“When we are devoted and focused on Him then we are not only going to be able to see when falsehoods are coming at us, we are also going to be able to protect ourselves and those around us by leaning ultimately on Christ.” – Amy DavisonEpisode 93. Advent 3: The Theology of Joy to the World Click To Tweet
“We as God’s people, as His image bearers, need to make sure that we keep our hearts in check during not only this time, but all year round to make sure that we are not allowing worldly influences to create clutter and clogs in our hearts, And instead devote ourselves wholeheartedly to God.” – Amy Davison
We are all in this together, so sometimes our posts are a bit of all of us.