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Christmas, Julie Andrews, Awesome Parents, and Joy to the World

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” (Luke 2:10)

  Sitting at my desk, writing thoughtfully, with Christmas music in the background, I was able to focus on the writing until Julie Andrews’ “Joy to the World”: “Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the….” I had stopped writing, was listening, and my mind was a million miles away (note to self: stop with the tunes when writing). As far back in my childhood as I can remember, my brother and I woke up to Andrews’ “Joy to the World” every Christmas morning. It was our official wake up call—Christmas had begun because Julie Andrews said so, and my parents had given her permission to say it. “Joy to the World” is much more than a Christmas hymn—it’s celebrating the promised kingdom of God coming to earth (cf. 2 Sam 7) when the Messiah King will sit on a literal earthly throne. But for me, the song is also a reminder of how two parents taught their children about the Source of authentic joy: true joy is found in Him. “Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the…” Those echoes remind me of the vital principles my parents instilled in me from my youth. The same exhortations that Paul shared with the Philippians (“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice,” 4:4), and that Nehemiah shared with his people (“the joy of the Lord is your strength,” 8:10). I can’t hear Joy to the World without remembering those Christmas mornings when we would read Luke 2, thank the Lord for His kindness to us, and then spend time together sharing gifts. Thank you, Dad and Mom, and Merry Christmas. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare Him room….” Song’s over for now…back to writing…Merry Christmas, everyone!   Dr. Christopher Cone, President