Season’s Greetings Saints
Today’s Bible Reading & Verse
Amos 1-2 and 2 Peter 3
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
It is here, in the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the most profound unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie. God became man; Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the incarnation. J. I. Packer
Today’s Song Story
Joy to the World
Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was born to Dissenting parents (people who refused to accept the authority and practices of the Church of England). As a boy, he sang hymns outside prison walls to encourage his father, who had been arrested for his non-conformist beliefs.
Isaac showed promise as a poet at a very young age. As he grew, he became increasingly unhappy with the hymns that he sang in church each week. In those days, hymns were psalms set to music. Watts saw that the hymns thus reflected little or nothing of the New Testament, and set out to remedy that error. His hymns –– at least his earlier hymns –– reinterpreted the psalms in the light of the Christian faith. In 1719, he published a book of hymns entitled, The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament.
One of those hymns was "Joy to the World," based loosely on Psalm 98, which says, "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises" (Psalm 98:4). That psalm looks forward to the day when the Lord will come to judge the world in righteousness. In this hymn, Watts reinterpreted the psalm to rejoice in the coming of the Christ as our Lord and saviour.
This hymn was sung to various tunes for many years. Then in 1839, Lowell Mason, a banker who happened to be quite interested in church music, published the tune that we now associate with "Joy to the World." Mason borrowed liberally from classical music, and acknowledged his debt to Handel’s "Messiah" for parts of this hymn tune.
Watts wrote some 600 hymns altogether, and is considered to be the father or Christian hymnody. His hymns include such favourites as "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" and "O God, Our Help in Ages Past." But the favourite of favourites is "Joy to the World."
–– Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan
Today’s Christmas Worship
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Gloria – MercyMe
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Downhere
This is Christmas – Kutless
Love Came Down – Point of Grace
Sing Noel – Newsong
Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Amy Grant
Messiah – Kari Jobe
O Come O Come Emmanuel – Selah
Today’s Worship is a ministry of The Servant’s House, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Come visit our Facebook page –
For information concerning our place and time of our Sunday worship call us at 514-451-4385 or 514-595-6098.
May Christ richly bless you!
The Servant’s House
LaSalle, Quebec, Canada
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