Saturday, August 09, 2008

Joy to the World! (Not just a Christmas carol)

Christianity is about Joy, now and forever and is not limited to the Christmas Season (nor to the Easter Season, for that matter). In fact, I daresay that even during Lent there is joy to be seen, felt, touched, heard, and tasted!

Of course we all know this, but do we really know this?

Yeah, we got problems, right here in River City.

But despite stuff like weird liturgy-sin-hunger-poverty-sin-hurricanes-blasphemy- -sin-tornadoes-war-floods-sin-politics-tragedy-sickness-sorrow-death (aka-known-as- end-of-life-on-earth)-and every single nasty thing imaginable, here's the thing:

The Lord is come!

I found myself humming "Joy to the World" today and also found myself wondering why on earth the song is limited to its definition as a "Christmas carol." Consider:

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Now, you might say "but Kelly, the song obviously celebrates Christ's birth" to which I would intellectually respond:

"Oh, yeah?"

Not exclusively, in my opinion. First of all, God invented "time" so we can't muck around with it to any great extent, at least as far as the Lord's coming is concerned. In other words, we can't say definitively: "This, this moment in history, is when the Lord arrived." That's just plain silly, when the Lord's been with us from Day One. Or, more correctly, vice-versa. Oh, sure, we can—in worldly terms—come close to identifying when (again in earthly terms) the Word became flesh. And sure, that was and remains a reason to rejoice.

But not the only one!

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Sin itself, while horrible, is, through Christ and Christ alone, a cause for joy. There is, in Confession, the joy of forgiveness. In the Exsultet, we actually proclaim sin "happy."

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

( comments on the benefits of sin. If you don't know what I'm talking about, pray about it, meditate upon it, and/or ask a holy person about it.)

So, rejoice! The Lord is come!

May He grant peace to your spirit and joy to your world!