How Great Our Joy

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Many songs of the Christmas season tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Some focus on the magi or the shepherds, Mary and Joseph, prophecies or angels. As we sing, we are challenged to respond, to ponder, to celebrate, to remember.

In many cases, the music itself tells an important part of the story. This is true for a carol known in English as, “How Great our Joy” (in Theodore Baker’s translation of a traditional German carol).

Here, in relatively few words, we imagine the reaction of the shepherds as they watched sheep and heard the “glad tidings brought an angel.” His message promised them great “joy.”

The singing of this carol brings us back to that theme. In fact, “joy” is repeated many times, with some voices providing a kind of echo: “How great our joy! [Echo: Great our joy!] Joy, joy, joy! [Echo: Joy, joy, joy!] That joy helps us become filled with praise. We sing, “Praise we the Lord in heaven on high! [Echo: Praise we the Lord in heaven on high].”

Everything about the Christmas story should bring us joy. To realize that God was sending His Son into the world. And the miracle is that this child would be our Savior, that He would “redeem us all.”

This joy was central to Jesus’ ministry. The Bible describes how Jesus’ disciples were filled with joy after realizing the authority they had in His name (Luke 10:17). The Bible describes the “great joy” people felt after hearing the Gospel (Acts 8:8).

Ask God to give you new joy as you ponder the birth of Jesus. May that joy fill your heart.