“Hymn Of Joy” Christmas Devotional

Christmas, Christian, Devotion

December 2

“Hymn of Joy” by Chris Tomlin

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee

God of glory, Lord of love

Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee

Opening to the sun above

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness

Drive the dark of doubt away

Giver of immortal gladness

Fill us with the light of day

Rejoice, rejoice!

Emmanuel

Your love has come

Here to dwell

All Thy works with joy surround Thee

Earth and heaven reflect thy rays

Stars and angels sing around Thee

Center of unbroken praise

Field and forest, vale and mountain

Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea

Singing bird and flowing fountain

Call us to rejoice in Thee

Rejoice, rejoice!

Emmanuel

Your love has come

Here to dwell

Rejoice, rejoice!

Emmanuel

Your love has come

Here to dwell

Mortals join the happy chorus

Which the morning stars began

Father love is reigning o’er us

Brother love binds man to man

Ever singing march we onward

Victors in the midst of strife

Joyful music leads us sunward

In the triumph song of life

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Today’s Devotion

Last Christmas, Lex and I took our barely 1-year old son Rhett to Melbourne Beach on Christmas afternoon for photographs and to let him strut about the sand with his still- developing walking skills. As a person who grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, where Christmas is frequently a cold, snowy event, I couldn’t help but appreciate and marvel at the ocean a little more on Christmas. As a child, I could never have imagined shorts, t-shirts and a sandy beach on Christmas Day, and I remember happily reflecting on the places and people God had led me to in my life.

Throughout “Hymn of Joy” is imagery describing God’s creation singing out in joy and worship. The idea that creation plays a part in the worship of God is central in many passages of Scripture, such as the Psalm 148, which as a psalm focuses almost exclusively on this concept, such as this excerpt from verses 3-5:

Psalm 148:3-5

“Praise him, sun and moon!

Praise him, all you twinkling stars!

 Praise him, skies above!

Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!

Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,

for he issued his command, and they came into being.” 

What a wonderful idea – everything can participate in the glorification of God – the creator of all things!

But… what does this actually mean for our everyday life?

Is this just flowery, pretty language? A poetic response to our Maker? Or could there be more to it?

The marvelous elements of nature – the mountains, the oceans, the forests, the stars – may not actually speak, or engage in worship – but they do inspire human beings.

We can appreciate God’s creation because we have been made in God’s image.

We’re the creatures God appointed to be stewards of nature – and we are the ones who can see the glory of God in what he has created.

God has given us a remarkable world to live in, and we can find his joy, peace, and power in what he’s made for us.

Everywhere we look – we can see the hand of God. It’s a remarkable, profound, easily-taken-for-granted gift bestowed upon us.

Although the effects of sin have destroyed, polluted, corrupted – God’s strength, creativity, and glory can be seen in all that he has made.

This Christmas season, as you go about your business, attending to friends, family and celebration – keep your eyes open. Look for God in all moments and places. When you look around you, at both nature and people…what do you see?

Christmas is a time for reflection and introspection. A chance to step back and appreciate what you have and thank God for it.

I pray that, much like this song says, that your, “Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee.”

Prayer

Creating God,

As we anticipate stepping forward in joy this Christmas, we pray that you’ll empower our eyes and minds to see you everywhere we look. We know that you have the best waiting for us, if we will accept it and reach for it. We pray that we can find you in the midst of the things you have created, and that we will be inspired to worship because of your tremendous acts throughout history. Amen.

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Aaron Waid

Aaron Waid

Aaron is a husband, father, theologian, writer, instructor, and musician.
Aaron Waid

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A devotional based off the Christmas song Hymn of Joy. Celebrate God's creation in this 2nd devotion in the 25 days of Christmas Worship Song Devotions!