Epiphany Day 8 Joy to the World
This song speaks of the results of Jesus’ birth. Not just a baby in a manger but the Lord of all creation! Joy to the WHOLE WORLD.
This is one of my favorite songs because it is fast and joyful. The YouTube video I chose isn’t fast but it is still still joyful. I love that it speaks of the future with Jesus instead of just the Christmas story. It speaks of His rule. It also speaks of ALL creation rendering Him praise.
MANY years ago I was the Children’s Church leader and we did an unusual Christmas program. Instead of using the manger scene and the traditional Christmas story I focused our story on “Let Everything Praise Him.” Our children portrayed everything from people and animals to rocks. My goal was to show the children the result of Jesus’ birth, not just His birth alone.
Because Jesus came, ALL creation has reason to praise Him. He came to bring salvation to a lost world. Because of sin our world has been slowly dying. Look around you today and tell me that you don’t see the destruction being done to it. Fires, mining, air pollution, climate changes. All these are the result of death that was brought with sin. Extinct species, poisonous animals, cruelty to animals. These too are the result of sin.
When God put man in the garden He gave him dominion over all the earth. When Adam and Eve sinned they gave that power over to Satan when they gave themselves into his hands. When Jesus took our punishment on the cross it didn’t immediately include salvation for the earth. It was for us that He died. But that is NOT the end.
When Jesus returns to rule on earth there will be peace again in creation itself. “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
There will be no conflict between man and animals or animal and animals when Jesus reigns on earth. I fully believe that the earth itself will cease suffering while He is in control. We are told in Revelation that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. We may have damaged this one beyond repair by then or God may have one better He intends for us to have. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more” (Revelation 21:1). I’m not sure if this speaks to there being no “sea” on the new earth or the exhaustion of the “sea” on our current one. But what I do know is that there will be no more death or pain AT ALL on this new earth. It is the complete fulfillment of the promise of God. This is where the FINAL joy lies.
Until that day though, the joy we receive from Jesus’ birth reigns in our hearts. His work is for each of us NOW. He is King in the lives of those who accept Him and the work He came to do. And we are to treat the rest of His creation with love and care.
I’m not preaching a “vegan lifestyle” or “zero carbon footprint” but that we care for the things God entrusted into our hands. Use well the gifts that He provided for us. Thank Him for the animals that He gave us as food. Respect the environment and don’t abuse it. And above ALL else, love one another as He loves you.
Thank You Father for Your gift of Jesus. Thank You that I KNOW that Your gift is for ALL Your creation. Help me show Your love to the animals and things You place in my hands. I pray I’m a good steward.
Help me show Your joy in my life. A joy that is not bound up in circumstances but in the knowledge of the fact that YOU are in control. I trust You in ALL that is to come. You are my source.