by Dan Claassen
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and flood, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
Did you know that “Joy To The World” in its original form wasn’t primarily about celebrating the incarnation of Christ, but rather His second coming? That’s right, one of our most popular and well-known Christmas hymns isn’t about Christ being born as a baby as much as it is about the triumphant return of our great and reigning King. We learned last week that Isaac Watts wrote the lyrics as a poem based on Psalm 98—a glorious Psalm that tells us of the righteous victory of the coming Messiah. What do these lyrics mean for us today, and how do they relate to the joy of the next generations? Let’s briefly look at the second verse of “Joy To The World” as we seek to answer that question.
The Savior reigns
Joy to the earth, indeed! There is one true King, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has always been and will forever reign! This is a heavy dose of joy-inducing truth for those of us in Christ. At Truth78, we speak often of inspiring and equipping the church and the home for the comprehensive discipleship of the next generation. The ultimate goal of our efforts is for their eternal joy. That’s why you find the phrase “for the joy of the next generation” repeated in so many of our communications. Oh, for the next generation to have the joy that is found in knowing, trusting in, and living lives as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ! Let’s “employ” our songs and sing with joy to our reigning King this Christmas. May this hymn serve as a reminder to faithfully proclaim throughout the year that the Savior reigns every day in our homes and churches.
Repeat the sounding joy
Life in this world, attacks from the evil one, and desires in our own idolatrous hearts can make it feel like we are constantly bombarded with temptations and lies to worship anything other than Christ. It seems like these temptations and lies are even more magnified and pronounced than ever before through modern technology. The next generation is growing up in a world looking in all the wrong places for significance, comfort, and happiness. God’s Word is clear. Christ is worthy of worship—by everyone and everything. All of creation joins in and testifies to His greatness—fields, flood, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy.
The next generation doesn’t need a pep talk about how great they are or a boost of self-esteem. They, like us, must be taught that God is the main character of the Bible, and the call to worship Him is not only a pursuit for this life, but also what will make eternity so glorious. One day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). How we long for the children in our lives to bow before Him now and be found among the faithful when Christ returns to judge the world (1 Peter 4:5).
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! May the next generation come to know and trust this truth as we repeat God’s glorious deeds to them so that they will set their hope in Him (Psalm 78:4, 7). All of this for the glory of God, and their eternal joy.
Invest in the joy of the next generations
Make an investment with an eternal impact:
- Purchase resources from the Family Discipleship Gift Guide for children and grandchildren. Your purchases further support the mission of Truth78, expanding a vision of discipleship for the next generation around the world.
- Make donations to our ministry for the eternal joy of the next generations. Your partnership through financial investment is vital for our ministry. Our annual budget depends on generous financial giving to operate and implement strategic initiatives.
Dan is our Director of Ministry Expansion and has a diverse professional background. He served within local law enforcement for ten years where he investigated Internet crimes against children and led several different Christian organizations focused on equipping the body of Christ to care for some of the most hurting children and families within their communities.
He currently serves as an elder within the church he and his family moved to Tampa, Florida to help plant in 2014. Most importantly, Dan loves Jesus, his wife Teri, and their three children, and has a passion to serve the local body of Christ.