Awaiting the Joy of Redemption

by Mark Bloom

Day 11 of Advent

What great words these are and how wonderfully they celebrate the season of Christmas and the birth of our savior! I cannot guess how many times I've sung them. Upon stopping to reflect on these words, however, I worried if they truly reflected the troubled times in which we live today.

The news is filled with reports of social unrest across the country, especially in the south where centuries of racial disparity leave a lingering shadow of racism and distrust. Widespread allegations of abuse have been made against politicians, movie directors, actors, and other people who use their power in inappropriate ways. Seemingly random acts of violence plague our society. Clearly, many hearts have not yet "prepared Him room."

The poet says that the fields and hills and plains will "repeat the sounding joy," yet our environment is facing more distress today than ever before. Romans 8:22 (NASB) reminds us that "the whole creation groans and suffers" as it waits for its redemption from the sin that permeates everything.

And while we sing how the nations will "prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love," countries engage in human rights violations against Christians and other groups who lack the ability to defend themselves.

It is easy to focus on the bad things happening around the world and wonder if these verses really ring true. However, there is another verse that fills me with hope.

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!

There is the hope! This long-neglected third verse is the key to making the hope-filled words of this Christmas carol relevant to today's troubled times. As Christians, we hold onto the promise that all will be redeemed. The Lord has indeed come! And by making room in our own hearts for Him, through us, His blessings will flow as far as the curse is found! Remember the important part we play in spreading His blessings throughout this holiday season.

Click the play button above to hear "Joy to the World" performed by Christine Jones

Recording Engineer: Jared Smith | Written by: George Frederick Handel and Isaac Watts | Arranged by: Christine Jones

Mark Bloom, Professor of Biology at Dallas Baptist University, is a current Ph.D. in Leadership Studies student with a concentration in General Leadership.

Christine Jones is a faculty member at Dallas Baptist University and teaches courses in English and Songwriting.