Joy to the World!
I’ve been singing Ode to Joy a lot this season. One, I learned to play the chords on piano. Two, it seems like a fitting song for our hearts as we close out 2012.
Anyway, as I was playing “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee,” the other day, I started thinking about the great Christmas carols we sing. And it hit me, the Lord released some of the greatest symphonic music of all time in the 1700 and 1800’s. The Church commissioned some of the music, the rest came from their hearts and understanding of God.
Imagine, 200 years ago, Handel penned music to go with “…and He shall reign forever and ever!” Beethoven wrote Ode to Joy with Him in mind! Oh, what Joy is found in communion with Him.
So I did a bit of research and I found that most of the Christmas Hymns we love were penned in the in the same season. “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night” even “Away in a Manger.” Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy are the melodies behind Joy to the World and Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.
Their brilliance is indisputable. And confirmed every December when choirs and chorals, Muzaks, musicians and singers play the hymns of the sovereign Lord’s birth, return and reign.
As I meditated on the great composers of the 18th and 19th Century, and the lyrics and melodies of Christmas songs composed at the same time, songs we still sing today, I started to smile.
The Lord released sounds and songs from heaven to earth that would be sung and played a hundred and fifty years, a hundred years, fifty years before the break of humanism, communism, Darwinism and Freudism (my term) onto the world’s stage.
How gracious He is to us to give us melodies to sing in our hearts to remind us of His love, of who He is and who He will be. Ode to Joy is right!
A good portion of the earth still sings “Joyful, joyful we adore thee.” Or, “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth! Hallelujah, hallelujah!” Oh, may those sounds and songs never be silent.
Here’s a clip from a recent favorite Christmas song, “Mary Did You Know.” I wonder what eternal purpose God sent this song to earth?
May it accomplish and fulfill His desire!