George Frederick Handel is one of the most famous composers in history. His Messiah is played and performed in churches and auditoriums all across the world each Christmas. The USA Today once reported that 125 million people had heard Messiah the previous year. His composition has influenced other songs as well. One hundred years after his death, a selection of his music was taken from his masterpiece and set to the words of a poem written by Isaac Watts, thereby creating the beloved hymn, Joy To The World.
Handel was once stopped by a fan who praised him for the entertainment his music provided. Handel thanked the man, but then corrected him by noting that he did not write music to entertain, but to make men better.
Joy, also, is not just for our entertainment, it makes us better people. Joy colors every interaction we have each day. It can often determine whether people feel cared for and valued by us. As Christians, we should stand out because of the joy we have and share with the world. That sort of joy is contagious. Joy To The World paints a picture of a joy so big that the earth itself echoes it: “While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains Repeat the sounding joy”. Christmas is our reminder that the joy that God provides for us isn’t simply a nice feeling, but is actually a core attribute to develop and share with the world.
May you find joy in the God who is with you and for you this Christmas!