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  • Matt Beaney

#706. JOY TO THE WORLD (7/12/22)

Leading up to Christmas Day, I thought it would be good to look at 15 of the most popular carols (chosen by Classic FM listeners) and consider the content and what we can learn from them.

A reflection based on JOY TO THE WORLD, number 13 in our chart of most popular carols.


LYRICS

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 world! the Saviour 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.


JOY TO THE WORLD

This carol, written by Issac Watts, is based upon Psalm 98. Here are some extracts from Psalm 98:

‘Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things… all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God… Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth… burst into jubilant song with music…let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.’ (Psalm 98)

This carol reflects Watts’ interpretation of it being a prophetic picture of the return of Christ. At His return, The Kingdom of God will be fully established in the earth. His coming will bring restoration and joy to all of creation:

'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.'

PREPARE HIM ROOM

In light of Jesus’ coming, we are encouraged to ‘prepare Him room’. The dread of judgment at Jesus’ coming can become the joy felt in this carol if we will receive Jesus the Saviour and King.


THE SAVIOUR REIGNS

The great theme of this carol is that Jesus’ coming will bring the Kingdom of God in its fullness to the earth. Whilst waiting for this vision to become a reality, we can enjoy the peace of God by receiving Him as king and making room for Him in our hearts; Receiving, worshipping, trusting and praying to Jesus the King dispels fear.

TAKE A MOMENT TO LISTEN TO THIS CAROL:


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

What do you most enjoy about Christmas and why? What do you most dislike about Christmas and why?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, Nev Floyd finished our series in 1 Corinthians. The title of his message was:


DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE

'Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.14 Do everything in love.' (1 Corinthians 16:13)

The book of Corinthians encourages us to be loving, particularly within the church community. Despite being very 'spiritual', the Corinthians were failing to love each other in many ways. Many people who are devoted to Jesus, can fail to be devoted, kind, forgiving, serving, generous... to their local church. Here are a few ways that we can 'do everything in love' from 1 Corinthians 16:


1. (16:1-4) TO LOVE IS TO BE GENEROUS (FINANCIALLY)

Paul opens this section with directions on how to give in order to support his ministry.

The church family at CCP is very generous. It's inspiring to see how this church community gives financially. Let's continue to be thankful and open to the Spirit's leading in our giving.


2. (16:5-9) TO LOVE IS TO WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH GOD'S PEOPLE

These verses reveal Paul's desire to visit the churches he's in relationship with. He writes: 'I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you...'

Do we want to spend time with our church family? How can we give quality time to our community? During this Christmas season, who can we include in our lives?


3. (16:10-12) TO LOVE IS TO HONOUR WITH OUR WORDS

Nev encouraged us to speak of others when they are absent as if they were present.


4. (16:15-18) TO LOVE IS TO REFRESH OTHERS

When we meet others, do we seek to love and refresh others or are we only seeking our benefit?


5. (16:19-24) TO LOVE IS TO SHOW LOVING AFFECTION

Paul speaks of his love for a number of people and encourages them to 'Greet one another with a holy kiss.' He ends with 'The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.'

Do express our love for people? How can we seek to do this?


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

i. Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii. What of the above 5 ways to love from this chapter do you find most difficult and why?


PRAYER AND SIV

SIV - Let's give time to sharing and praying for the carol service, this coming Sunday.

SIC - Could you copy the image below and share it with someone?





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