Day 17: Joyful, Joyful

by Dec 17, 2020Christmas 2020, Devotional, Songs of Christmas

Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee
God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee
Opening to the sun above

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays
Stars and angels sing around Thee
Center of unbroken praise

Field and forest, vale and mountain
Flowery meadow, flashing sea
Singing birds and flowing fountains
Call us to rejoice in Thee

We sing in jubilation, adoration to a joyful King

Beep! Beep! Beep!  

I fumble around beside my bed, turning off my alarm.  The chill in the air makes me question whether I really want to get up for the day.

But I do.  I throw on some warm clothes and head outside for my morning walk.

Our townhouse neighborhood is still and quiet.  Fall leaves crunch under my feet.  Birds chirp and I try to see how many different songs I can identify.  The vibrant leaves on the trees explode with color.  The crisp air invigorates my senses and I breathe it in deeply.

One of my favorite parts of my morning routine is my walk outside.  I walk early, before my husband and kids are awake and before the hustle and bustle of the day has begun.  The stillness quiets my heart and mind.   The beauty of nature around me reminds me of a God who is breathtakingly creative.

The lyrics of the hymn “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” were penned in 1907 by Henry van Dyke, a preacher at that time.  He was inspired by the mountains around him and described this hymn as one of “trust and joy and hope.”

Throughout the hymn, van Dyke describes the beauty of nature reflecting the glory of God.  He mentions flowers, the sun, clouds, light, day, earth, heaven, stars, field, forest, vale, mountains, meadow, sea, bird, fountain.  The beauty that he saw around him inspired him to “rejoice in Thee.”

Although not written specifically as a Christmas hymn, “Joyful, Joyful” encourages us to let the beauty of God’s creation speak to our hearts and lift our spirits heavenward.  What better time to do that than right now, during a Christmas season that is so different from seasons past.

Trust and joy and hope.  Do you need any trust, or joy, or hope this Christmas?  My prayer is that God will give you glimpses of his great love for you through the beauty that you see around you this Christmas season.

Day 16: Silent Night

Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright 'Round yon virgin Mother and Child Holy infant so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace   Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!...