Do Your Spirits Need Reviving?

As mentioned last week singing familiar songs can become monotonous and it was this very problem that inspired Isaac Watts to pen Joy to the World.  For believers thoughts and celebrations of Christmas should always done in light of the cross.  Without the birth of Christ there would be no resurrection of Christ.  It is this joy that is celebrated in the beloved hymn of Joy to the World.  Greg Ayers, Sr. Editor with Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, discusses the significant of this carol 'reviving our spirits' in the article below.  


“Joy to the World”: A Christmas Hymn for Reviving Our Spirits

(by Greg Ayers)

Would you guess that “Joy to the World,” a Christmas hymn so familiar to us it’s often in danger of becoming wallpaper for the season, was once revolutionary?

It’s true. Isaac Watts wrote his greatest hit in response to other hymns becoming aural wallpaper in the ears and hearts of the congregations of his day.

In “Joy to the World: A Christmas Hymn Reconsidered,” Alyssa Poblete writes,

Watts grew up in a world where the music in every worship service consisted only of psalms or sections of Scripture put to music. Watts found the practice monotonous. To him, there was a lack of joy among the congregants as they sang.

She continues,

[Watts] once famously said, “To see the dull indifference, the negligent and thoughtless air that sits upon the faces of a whole assembly, while the psalm is upon their lips, might even tempt a charitable observer to suspect the fervency of their inward religion.”

When we sing these words, we are proclaiming the ultimate joy to be revealed.

And so Watts penned “Joy to the World,” which represents the pinnacle of a vocation dedicated to renewing joy among believers who had lost it in the long walk of faith. On his blog, Power of Change, Reid Monaghan shares this anecdote about Watts:


Thanks to Ryan Wallace for the photo on Unsplash

Crosland Stuart