Second Sunday of Advent
Repeat the Sounding Joy"
The traditional theme for the third Sunday of Advent is Joy, which is fitting—the 2019 MCC Advent Resource focuses on the lyrics of “Joy to the World”, which Isaac Watts wrote 300 years ago. According to Rev. Colleen Darraugh, who compiled the Advent Resource, Isaac Watts did not intend to write the lyrics to a Christmas song. In fact, his lyrics were inspired by passages in Psalms 96 and 98 (and Genesis 3).
Both Psalms begin with a desire to sing a new song to YHWH—
“Sing to YHWH a new song!” (Psalm 96)
“Sing a new song to YHWH” (Psalm 98)
And both psalms invite all of creation to join in the singing—
“Let the heavens be glad; let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar and all that it holds!
Let the fields exult and all that is in them!
Let the trees of the forest sing for joy” (Psalm 96)
“Let the sea and all within it thunder;
the world and all its peoples.
Let the rivers clap their hands
and the hills ring out their joy” (Psalm 98)
I wonder, following the intention of Isaac Watt, what it might be like to sing a new song —
a new song for Advent that we have never even imagined—
a song that expresses the roar and thunder of the sea,
the exultation of the fields,
the joy of the trees of the forest,
the clapping of the rivers,
and joy ringing out from the hills?
Perhaps in this season of anticipation, we can find time to walk contemplatively into the outside world—
a world outside the crush and bustle, the frenetic activity, that has become associated with this season—
and instead listen quietly, intently, for the new song of joy all of creation is inviting you to join.
Elder Nancy Maxwell