Joy to the World

By Ruth Anne Bare


The other day on YouTube I watched the U.S. Air Force Band do a flash mob event at the Smithsonian. I was spellbound as were all the people there, who were caught in the moment. One soldier sat down with his cello in the middle of the crowd and began to play, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” [1]

A conductor graciously stood at a podium provided by perfectly groomed troops. Then bystanders in the crowd took off their coats one-after-another, revealing their uniforms and joined the rapturous melody with their instruments. Finally, from the balcony, angelic voices and trumpets were added as the performance crescendoed into, “Joy to the World.”

I wanted to cry. It was so beautiful, almost like heaven opened up for a minute and revealed God’s glory. I wondered what possessed the conductor to plan this royally grand proclamation in today’s politically correct environment. Did he consider the perils of his bold act? Or was he just a musician performing a traditional work of art?

I don’t know his motives, but wasn’t it just this way back when Jesus walked on the earth, too? It was dangerous in many circles to look for the Promised One. Remember what Herod did to protect his kingship at the Messiah’s arrival?

This lavish performance was reminiscent of that midnight clear when the angels burst forth in the skies over the hills outside Bethlehem with their spectacular, one-of-a-kind, birth announcement:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:8-14).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when everything around us appears to be coming apart at the seams, remember Who is in control. While devilish forces are manipulating a new world order, our heavenly Father is orchestrating for the revelation of the king of Kings. Let us be about His business (Luke 2:49).
Perhaps you may be tempted to say there is nothing you can do. I beg to differ with you. Our weaknesses and handicaps cannot limit God. Remember, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27).

What should we be doing as we see the lights dimming just before the Church vanishes and the heavy, Tribulation curtain is opened? Can you witness? Can you pray? I dare say we can all do these things. Don’t quench God’s power in your life by your unbelief. Trust Him for mighty things in your family and in the world.

Dig up your buried talents, and let God multiply them. Be a Daniel or an Elijah in your heart even if you are just a “woman of Canaan” (Matthew 15:22) or a “blind beggar” (Luke 18:35). Isn’t this what we all can humbly aspire to be?

“Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2b).

“Joy to the world. The Lord is come.”

MERRY CHRISTMAS

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cKE8pyfcZc
(Flash Mob: U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian.)


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