We’ll no doubt have a few renditions of ‘Joy to the World’! Those infamous lyrics that declare ‘The Lord is come, let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room, And heaven and nature sing.”

Research suggests that Advent has probably been observed since the fourth century. Originally, it was a time when converts to Christianity readied themselves for baptism.

During the Middle Ages, Advent became associated with preparation for the Second Coming. In early days Advent lasted from November 11, the feast of St. Martin, until Christmas Day. Advent was considered a pre-Christmas season of Lent when Christians devoted themselves to prayer and fasting. I’m not sure what went wrong there. I doubt there’ll be much fasting this year, more like feasting!

Many Christians still view Advent as a season to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus. In the last fifty years, however, it has also come to be thought of as a time of anticipating the Nativity, on Christmas Day.

Then there’s the history of the accidental Christmas Hymn – ‘Joy to the World’ – its origin as a Christmas carol written by Isaac Watts, who was one of the most prolific and celebrated creators of hymns.

In 1719, Watts published “The Psalms of David,” a collection of poems where each verse was based on a psalm. But, instead of translating the original texts of the Old Testament, he made some subtle adjustments. His poems referred more explicitly towards the works of Jesus, thus seeking inspiration from the New Testament.

The vision of Psalm 98 is to bring joy for all people. ‘Joy to the World’ inspires the listeners to look forward to a future time when sin will finally be evicted, and all of humanity will bask in the glory of Jesus’ righteousness. Therefore, let us look forward and declare aloud that Christ is risen, Christ will come again and that he brings joy, hope, peace and love to all.

Let me close by saying it’s an honour and a privilege to serve you all. I also want to thank the leadership team: Rob, Carol, Mark, Jan, George and Olivia for their servant hearts and support. For all those that help make things happen during the services, the tech and worship teams, Junior church leaders, and those of you that organise and run other groups.

It can be tiring at times and it may not always be joyful! However, we do so bringing the message of hope that the future will be brighter as we glorify God, because the Lord is come, earth will receive her King. So let every heart prepare Him room as heaven and nature sings.

Have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Grace and peace

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DavidSkeet_Signature2.jpg
David SkeetDavid Skeet is our church team leader.
Taken from the latest edition of our bi-monthly church newsletter.