“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice.” -Psalm 96:11
A popular song around Christmas time is Isaac Watts’ hymn, “Joy to the World.” Watts wrote this hymn regarding Christ’s second coming, which I do find appropriate to sing at a time remembering our Lord’s first advent. Watts writes,
Joy to the World; the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing.
The earth will receive her King when Jesus returns, and the heavens will be glad and the earth rejoice, as the Psalmist writes. We groan along with all creation until then (Romans 8:22). This groaning presses our faces to remain looking forward. No matter the levels of comforts and joys delighted in our brief time on earth, no matter the level of strides we make in maturing in Christ in our vapor-like lifetime, our deepest longings each day of our lives is for Jesus to return. For we assured by the rich mercies of our God that our Lord Jesus returns to us, His church, as Redeemer.
Do you long for Christ’s return, to rejoice and to be glad with all of His Kingly rule in heaven and earth? His rule is as Prince of Peace, breaking the bow of war, crushing the rebellion of sin, and destroying sting of death forever. The history of redemption written by the sovereign hand of God is incomplete until Christ returns to finish His Kingdom. Let us wait we longing.
Isaac Watts’ hymn continues:
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love
The glories of His perfect righteousness, ruling the nations with His truth and grace, displays for eternity the wonders of His love. Beloved of Christ, remember this glorious truth today and always, no matter the anxieties and pains and joys of your brief life: our loving Bridegroom will return for us to redeem us to enjoy His presence forever.
Heavenly Father, my heart and flesh fail daily, stripping the motivations of obedience, growing weary in doing good. Forgive us, Lord. Strengthen us, Lord. Make us ready for our Savior’s return for His church that Your gospel goes to the nations that the heavens and all the earth rejoice. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.