Joy to the WORLD! Hymn of Christmas coming announces the Prince of Peace!
My favorite memory of Christmas is when I played Joy to the World during Christmas Eve service with my son and daughter as part of small church orchestra.
This was a one-time event. My son was a senior. His classmate Sarah spent the year composing orchestra pieces for Christmas and Easter services as part of a senior project. (She is now a music teacher in Western Nebraska.)
To many, this might not be a big deal. But it was. You see Trinity Lutheran is a small country church in rural Nebraska. Our congregation is less than 150 people. However, we have an amazing local school music and band program at Elmwood-Murdock High School. About eight youth that practiced many times and never thought it would come together.
Sarah wrote parts for trumpet, tympani, bells, clarinet, saxophone, piano, organ and flute. I played the piano.
At the start, I looked over the piano at Sara, took a breath and we began.
It was AMAZING! It was JOY to the World as the Prince of Peace filled the air with majestic song and the congregation stood and sang with JOY. Every measure was perfect, every note was hit. At the end, I turned and looked at my son, his response was simply “Wow”
Sarah and I continued to play her Joy to the World hymn piano and organ duet for many years until she married and moved away. Last year I played it just on the piano and although the congregation filled me with peace, it wasn’t the same.
This year I will be playing the same Joy to the World duet, but this time with Pastor Kuhlman. I am so looking forward to it again.
How Exciting is This?
The wonderful counselor is going to bring us peace and goodwill to men! I’ve talked about it, how Jesus Christ comes to give us peace through forgiveness of sins. No, not as the peace the world gives but eternal peace. Yes, we want peace on earth. Peace with our family, our marriages, between friends, at work, in our community and world.
But before we can have peace in our world we have to have peace between God and all of us. Imagine if people gave up their sins. Ok, that might not be possible. But we can daily give them up to Jesus and when we do that repeatably we are less likely to repeat them. Daily repentance and prayers of forgiveness to God gives us internal peace.
So JOY TO THE WORLD and Peace Be With You!
Weekly Advent Readings: Wednesday, 3rd Week Advent
Today’s Reading Isaiah 40: 1-11
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 40: 18-41: 10; Revelation 8: 1-13