I wrote this a few weeks back as my contribution to a twelve-day devotional series that our ministry staff put together for our church family. I share it with you today as a final Christmas meditation this season. Merry Christmas!
Wonders of His Love
“Joy to the World” was written by Isaac Watts, one of the great hymn writers in church history. The song was originally published in his collection of hymns and poems entitled The Psalms of David in 1719. Over the last three hundred years, “Joy to the World” has become a beloved Christmas carol and the most published hymn in North America.
The final stanza of the hymn concludes with the refrain, “and wonders of His love.” King David has a similar word of praise found in Psalm 17.
Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.Psalm 17:7
The Hebrew word David uses – translated as “great love” – is the word for “covenant loyalty.” David has found refuge in the salvation of God. Therefore, he praises God for keeping His promises, for His enduring faithfulness, and for His steadfast love. David seems in awe of the depth of God’s eternal love. Channeling this text in “Joy to the World,” Watts sees God’s faithful love as similarly wondrous, a true marvel in a world of falsehoods and broken promises.
I love Christmas because it is a time when people around the world – Christian or otherwise – reflect on the wonders of God’s faithful love. Songs like “Joy to the World” fill the airwaves with the message of God’s steadfast love. During this season, we celebrate the arrival of the One who left the throne room of heaven to take on flesh. We can scarcely comprehend the needless God willingly becoming a child, completely dependent upon the care of his mother and father. What a wondrous story indeed! And all of this is best understood as an expression of God’s steadfast love, as the work of a God who promised to never leave nor forsake His people. His love is relentless and fierce and without limit, a wondrous and eternal love that assures us that The Story we are living ends in glory!
So let earth receive her king,
The one who rules with truth and grace.
And let every heart prepare him room,
Far as the curse is found.
For the Lord is come, the Savior reigns!
Let heaven and nature sing and repeat the sounding joy:
The wonders of his great love.