From the Pastor’s Study

Three hundred years ago the words of the hymn that we know as Joy to the World were first published as a paraphrase of Psalm 98 by English poet and pastor, Isaac Watts.  The hymn, as we sing it today, incorporates Watts’ words with a tune from Lowell Mason. He was an American banker whose love of music found outlet in penning musical arrangements for his part-time gig as a Sunday School teacher and organist at a Presbyterian church in Savannah, Georgia. Since Mason loved the music of George Frederic Handel, it’s no surprise that there are pieces of the tune reminiscent of that composer’s Messiah.

Three different lives, interwoven across oceans and decades, come together to bring the world one of it’s most beloved Advent and Christmas hymns. We say Advent and Christmas because, though the song is often sung as a Christmas carol, a closer look at its words shows as much focus on Christ’s return as on his birth.

This Advent season we will be using worship resources created by our D. S. Rev. Larry Leland which are based on Joy to the World.  Week by week we will consider the themes of hope, peace, joy and love, referencing verses from the hymn as we go.  One of the resources we have for you are a set of tent cards for your dining table.  Each week there are questions for discussion, a prayer, and a verse of Joy to the World for  singing and devotions.  We also have printed Advent calendars for you to use.

–        Pastor Ron Troup


<>< Pastor Ron Troup

Faith UMC, Sunbury, PA –

203 Arch Street (corner of 2nd St.)

PO Box 387, Sunbury, PA  17801

(570) 286-6301 – ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Faith United Methodist Church • 203 Arch Street Sunbury, PA 17801 • (570) 286-6301