Thoughts on “Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)”

[Listen to the song here.]

What is “Unspeakable Joy”?

This is not a light, fluffy, blown-around kind of joy. This is a gritty, solid, desperate, life-or-death joy. This is the joy of a world who has committed unpardonable treason; of a people waiting in a dark and silent cell dreading a just and horrible judgement; the joy of those same hardened criminals seeing and hearing instead about the first impossible steps of an unthinkably dangerous, costly, and daring rescue— made completely at the expense of the Rescuer. This is the heart-rending joy of a guilty-as-charged, death-row humanity staring wonderingly into the eyes of their Righteous Judge, the Eye Witness to all of their atrocities, the Innocent One against whom all of their crimes had been committed… as he puts on their clothes— the clothes of a convict—and takes his first unwavering step toward a gallows that are not his own.

This is our joy— a joy that grows in us a song of thankfulness that pushes through the cracks in our hearts even in the midst of our hurting. Even in the midst of our waiting for His full and final rescue.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Joy, unspeakable joy
An overflowing well, no tongue can tell
Joy, unspeakable joy
Rises in my soul, never lets me go

[Originally posted here.]