Friends, Holy Days

Joy to the World!

The other day I got a package in the mail from a faraway friend. It’s the time of year for things unexpected. This wasn’t completely unexpected, since I knew I was participating in Mindy’s magnet swap, but the contents were a surprise. In it were three refrigerator magnets and a homemade CD of some of SpookyRach’s favorite songs. Fun! (The magnets are on the fridge. I’m waiting for some child to notice them! Picture to follow.)

The second cut on the CD is “Joy to the World,” not the carol, but the song by Three Dog Night. It just happens to be true that the first record album I ever bought for myself was purchased at a yard sale for 25 cents, and although it had a torn dust jacket, it also had that song. I played it over and over again. It made me happy. “Jeremiah was a bullfrog/was a good friend of mine./I never understood a single word he said”—and I still don’t understand it!

Rach printed out a list of the songs on the CD for me, and after “Joy to the World” it says, “Sing along! You know you want to!” I do! I do!

Even in the face of things that constrain joy this Christmas–the peace workers in Iraq who have been kidnapped, the stories coming out of Louisiana and Mississippi about the poor follow-through in helping people after the hurricane, people closer to home for whom this may not be a Merry or Joyful Christmas because someone they love is very ill–I believe we are still called to rejoice.

My friend and colleague, RevFun, tells me that his congregation made more noise in our sanctuary last Sunday night than it has probably ever heard before, noise in the form of guitars and drums and keyboard pouring through their superior sound system. They made a joyful noise.

I could play Rach’s CD, if I could figure out how to hook a CD player up to their superior mixer. It might be a little too much to manage on this particular day, but the option is open to me now.

But we will make a lot of noise, with what will probably be a packed church, singing one of my favorite Christmas Carols, that other “Joy to the World.”

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

It speaks of a joy in God that reverberates through Creation. What kind of changed world would we inhabit if that joy would reverberate through all people, everywhere?

5 thoughts on “Joy to the World!”

  1. And now that I see it again this morning, it hurts a bit to read it. It was “rocks, hills and plains” that stuck in my mind. I think it bears a relationship to Jesus’ saying, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
    And even more so as Jesus sings in Jesus Christ Superstar:
    Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd?
    Nothing can be done to stop the shouting
    If ev’ry tongue was still the noise would still continue
    The rocks and stones themselves would start to sing

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