by James Merritt

Joy to the World
James Merritt
Luke 2:8-12


1. If you were to ask anyone on the street what is the most joyful time of the year? Without any question, it would be practically unanimous that Christmas is the most joyful time of the year. One of the carols you will hear everywhere you go is one entitled, ''It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.''

2. In 1719 Isaac Watts wrote a hymn that came to be entitled, ''Joy to the World.'' Now the interesting thing about this song is, the only stanza that is related to Christmas and the birth of Jesus, is the first one that announces ''the Lord is come.'' There is no mention of Mary and Joseph, the angels, the Shepherds, the manger, or the Wise Men. Yet, it is one of our most beloved Christmas carols because it really captures the essence of Christmas, which is joy.

3. Watts was right when he titled his carol ''Joy to the World'', for Christmas is not just joy to America--it is not a national joy. It is not joy to the Caucasian--it is not a racial joy. It is not joy to the West-- it is not a cultural joy. It is not joy to the rich--it is not financial joy. It is not joy to the educated--it is not intellectual joy. It is not joy to the happy--it is not emotional joy. It is not joy to the healthy--it is not physical joy. It is joy to the world. It is universal joy.

4. Even the angel in v.10 said, ''I bring you good tidings of great joy.'' The word for good tidings is the Greek word that gives us the word evangelism, which means, ''to bring good news.'' We have a clue as to what this good news is all about in v.11.

5. There is something unique in v.11 that you do not want to miss. Nowhere else in all of the Bible will you find the three words Savior, Christ, and Lord together in one verse. This is the only time in all of Scripture where these three words are brought together. Those words, along with the word ''Babe'' in v.12, reveal to us why Christmas truly is a time of joy to the world.

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