Joy to the World may be about the return of Christ and not a Christmas carol

Cheryl E Preston

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Joy to the World was the most popular Christmas carol of the 20th century but it is believed by some that Isaac Watts wrote this song about the second coming of Christ and not his birth. The song is based on Psalm 98 and not the gospels that reveal the birth of Jesus and in recent years the purpose of the song has been pondered each holiday season.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
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 the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.


He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders, of his love.

Watts could have written this as a Christmas tune while looking into the future to reflect upon both His birth and the fact that He is coming again. Consider the first line in each stanza"

Some churches sing Joy to the world the Lord has come at Christmas but Watts wrote Joy to the world the Lord is come or is coming. Verse two begins with Joy to the World the Savior reigns. and verse four with He rules the world with truth and grace. Jesus did not reign at His birth but the Bible says He will rule after His return. Verse three talks about no more horns in the ground and the curse which came with Adam in Genesis one. These things will continue as long as the earth remains.

David Prince says Watts wrote Joy to the World about his first advent as well as the return of Christ and Joe Bloom of Desiringgod.org concurs that when Watts penned the tun in 1719 with several other Christian hymns he had the future return of Jesus on his mind and not the first Christmas. Whether you agree with this or not Joy to the World can be sung at any time.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA
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