Joy to the World – Christmas letter to congregation

Christmas, 2015

Joy to the World is no doubt a favorite Christmas hymn of many.  It is a hymn that brings to mind so many of the Psalms that call on all creation to sing the glad songs of praises to greet the Lord of heaven and earth who now lies in the Bethlehem manger.

And yet, perhaps you do not feel quite so joyous on this Christmas Day.  Perhaps the past year has had its ups and downs, and definitely more downs than ups.  Life has been difficult, and no doubt watching the news in recent weeks has led you to ask on this Christmas Day: how can there be joy in this world, when the whole world seems to be falling apart?

The tentacles of sin reach into so many corners of our lives as we suffer through sickness and disease, through famine and flood, through less money in our pockets yet higher bills in the mail, and even through conflict and stress with those whom we hold dear, that it may seem near impossible to sing out the refrains calling on all of heaven and nature to sing.

And yet, the words of this favorite Christmas hymn are ours as well for one simple reason.

Despite all the heartache and stress that so dominate our lives on a daily basis, we gather around the manger, we gather around the altar, we gather around the Word, and we sing our praises; for the the one who has come to redeem us is here.

Even in the midst of so much suffering and death, the whole creation rejoices, singing loud songs of celebration that the Savior of the world is here.  The long promised Jesus is here to lift the hearts and minds of all people, to bring the good news of salvation to a world sitting in darkness.

We join the whole creation in singing Joy to the World for there is no more sorrow, no more crying, no more dying; the Savior of the world has made His triumphal entry, and we rejoice and sing that no matter what happens around us, no matter what happens to in our lives from one day to the next, the king of creation is here in our midst.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Pastor Schmidt

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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