Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cosmic and Personal

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, 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, 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.

At Christ Church on Sunday, we celebrated Lessons & Carols, and this was our final carol to conclude the service. It was noted how the carol describes the cosmic, universal significance of Jesus: that the King is worshipped by all Creation, even rocks, hills and plains; that He has dealt with the sin of the world (far as the curse is found) and that He is the Word made flesh who dwelt among us ('grace and truth' -- have a look at John 1.14, or listen for it at your Christmas Eve service). The extent of His reign is total, over all nations, indeed over all Creation, and thus all heaven and nature sings for joy at His coming.

And yet.

And yet the world is comprised of individual people. As Margaret Thatcher said to the dismay of many in Britain in 1987: "There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families." Joy to the World encourages the whole world to receive Jesus as King, and then makes it quite personal: Let every heart prepare Him room.

Which line do you find most striking?

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