“Joy to the World” was originally titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom” (Doesn’t have quite the same joyful ring, does it?) The carol paraphrases Psalm 98:4-9, calling for all of creation to joyfully praise the reign of the Lord. Anybody can play or sing the opening melody by starting at C and heading down one full octave!
Though we sing “Joy to the World” at Christmas, most of the song declares Jesus’ Second Coming. Consider the phrases Joy to the world, the Savior reigns, No more let sins and sorrows grow, and He rules the world with truth and grace!” Those lines reflect what will happen at Christ’s return.
Although “Let earth receive her King” could welcome the birth of Jesus, we can take joy in looking to His kingship where He will reign in glory, truth, and righteousness. Satan will be bound; Christ’s kingdom will have no end.
“Let every heart prepare Him room,” should have happened at His birth. But this line is also for us now. We need to prepare room in our heart for His Second Coming and to sing His praises. Nature declares His glory—so should we!
This isn’t merely a Christmas carol, but a song to sing year round. Let’s stretch the Christmas season throughout the year and prepare our hearts each day by singing, “Joy to the World!” Our King will return!
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 98:8-9).