Christmas in July

  • July 21, 2016
  • #8929

Special-needs kids and their families look forward to experiencing the Joy of the Lord at Family retreats this summer.         

Christmas in July

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and although it’s summer, I feel like singing a Christmas carol. In fact, won’t you join me on “Joy to the World”?

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ.
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

I know, I know, it’s the middle of summer; Christmas is still months away. But there’s a good reason I’m singing this Christmas carol. You see, joy is the theme for all of our summertime Family Retreats, and at least one or two of them are going to be celebrating God's joy by having Christmas in July. Complete with elves and Santa Claus and special-needs families wrapping gifts for each other – and I just know this carol is going to be lifted up at those Family Retreats.

But there’s another good reason to sing "Joy to the World" in July or at any other time of year. Because although it is one of the most beloved Christmas hymns of all time, it was not written as a Christmas song. Isaac Watts originally wrote it to herald the Second Advent of Christ. You know that line where it goes: “No more let sin nor sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make His blessings known far as the curse is found.” So it’s Joy to the world, the Lord is come, oh, come quickly Lord Jesus; today this hymn is meant to herald your Second Coming, so hurry back soon, Jesus, come quickly!

And as you sing “Joy to the World” with me, remember you have to make the joy of the Lord your strength today, the kind of strength that we see all the time in special-needs families who attend our Family Retreats. They know; they understand that the deeper the sorrow, the stronger and more resilient is the joy of the Lord in their lives. And I pray that it is true for your life, too. So, would you please join me in praying for the many mothers and fathers and special-needs kids and their siblings who are going to be attending our Family Retreats this month and next? Joy is the theme and we want to experience the heartfelt joy in the Lord that can be their strength. Oh, and if you plan to serve at one of our Family Retreats this summer, instagram your favorite Retreat photo, with the hashtag FamilyRetreatMemories. We may even pin your picture onto our Family Retreat Pinterest board! So, post your photo and don’t forget to keep celebrating the joy of the Lord this summer, because His joy is your only strength.

He rules the world with truth,
and grace and makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.

It’s the theme of all our Family Retreats this summer. Joy to the World! Make it your theme this summer as well.

Music: "Joy to the World" Isaac Watts, 1719, Public domain. Arrangement/recording 2006 Joni and Friends

© Joni and Friends

 

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