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‘Let Earth receive her king’

December 31, 2007

by Pastor Douglas C. Pierce, Lake Jennie Ev. Covenant Church, Dassel

In our lives, it is always an exciting time when someone comes to visit. We clean up the house and we get out the guest towels. We want everything to be nice for our guests.

But all guests are not equal – the more important we perceive the guest to be, often, the greater preparation we will make for their arrival.

Isaac Watts, the great hymn writer, knew this in 1719, when he wrote the classic Christmas carol, “Joy to the World.”

The first verse of the carol goes:

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come;

let earth receive her King;

let ev’ry heart prepare him room . . .”

Watts tells us that the Lord has come and that He is the king of the earth. What visitor could be more important than the king?

But he also makes clear that this is not an earthly kingship, but rather a kingship of the spirit, for he ends with the statement that we are not to prepare room in our world, country, or home, but rather in our heart.

This Christmas season, all of you have probably been busy with many events having to do with Christmas. You have been planning meals, getting the house ready, and attending programs at church and at school.

But, have you been preparing your heart for the coming of the Lord and Savior?

Two thousand years ago, John the Baptist called upon the people of Israel to prepare a way for the Lord by repenting and setting their hearts on God. His call to Israel is also our call.

This Christmas season, we each need to prepare a place in heart for God to come dwell. Not for a day or a season, but forever.

May each of you this Christmas season know the joy that Watts spoke of in his carol, the joy that comes from Christ making His home in your heart. May the Lord bless you this Christmas and in the New Year.