Jesus in Advent – the joy of our desiring

[For this Joy Sunday of Advent, it is good to reflect on the joy that God’s people have anticipated and partaken through his word word and the music of the church. I hope this archived post brings you joy as you consider Jesus’ coming.]

I watched this and felt chills running through me, eyes starting to water, breathing coming shallow, all because of the beauty in music reminding me of our Savior’s coming.

When the choir sang the words of Jesu, Joy of Mans’ Desiring, I couldn’t stop thinking of this passage describing what the Savior will accomplish. No wonder he is a joy to desire.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth. (Micah 5:2-4.)

Then the Air Force Band played Joy to the World, which always brings me expectancy of Jesus’ return. Did you know the song is based on Psalm 98, a passage of prophecy about that time of new creation at Jesus’ second coming? The new creation will shout and sing for joy that the Lord has come.

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.
(Psalm 98:1-2, 4, 7-9.)

Even though this psalm looks to a time yet to come, I still read it joyfully for this season of Advent. It reminds me to join with those who anticipated Jesus’ birth 2000 years ago and it encourages me as I look to his return when we will sing that new song along with all creation.


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