At Christmas, you get a dozen different versions of the same song. Some songs have the same words with different melodies. Other songs have the same melodies but different words. And some songs have words that are mostly the same, but with some slight variations. It makes it tough for us worship leaders, who have to make the decision on which version that will work best for the congregation.
One of those songs is “Joy to the World.” In the very first line there is a variation. Some versions go, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.” Older versions have, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” I have usually preferred “has” over “is” because it makes more sense in modern English. We just don’t use the words “is” and “come” together anymore.
However, I’ve changed my stance on this. I prefer the old “is come,” now. And the reason is more theological than it is grammatical.
The coming of the Lord is not just a past event. Certainly, Jesus Christ came historically over 2,000 years ago. But we also anticipate another coming of Jesus Christ in the future – the Second Coming. So we can also sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is coming.” The version of “has come” only tells part of the story.
But there is also the sense that Jesus is come, in the present sense. And that’s what I want to focus on today. Jesus continually comes into our lives, spiritually, as we open our hearts – day by day, moment by moment – to Him. In fact, it is the “ongoing” sense of “is come” that aptly describes the Whole Life Worship process.
Every time we notice the Lord at work around us, the Lord is come. Every time we turn to Him in prayer, the Lord is come. Every time we feel His presence, the Lord is come. Every time we surrender ourselves to His way and His will, the Lord is come. Every time we choose to love in the power of God, the Lord is come. The more we become aware of the Lord in our everyday ordinary lives, the Lord is come.
And every time the Lord is come into our lives, the more we are become as He is – transforming into His likeness.
How can you allow Jesus to come more into your life today?
I guarantee that you’ll experience a deeper “joy to the world” as the Lord “is come” more into your life.