#WorshipWednesday: “Joy to the World (Joyful, Joyful)”

Written by Kait Raak

I discovered Phil Wickham’s album last year and it became a fast favorite. He makes it easy to drift into a state of worship and wonder. Give the whole album a listen if you get the chance, but today I want to focus on his version of “Joy to the World.”

Joy? Really? This year, it’s been hard to muster. We’ve felt the considerable pain of cancelled plans, disappointments, isolation, stress, anxiety, loss, and grief. AND we have tidings of comfort and joy: our Savior is coming, he is here. He’s something unexpected, he’s good, he’s freedom, he’s life, and he invites us to be peculiar, too.

We can experience pain, and joy also. Not “joy instead,” or “joy anyway,” but both. Like the peace that passes understanding, we can be joyful.

I play this song and I plan for our liturgical dancers. But I can’t seem to think of a way for us to safely leap, twirl, and practice in close proximity safely, so you’ll have to join my world and imagine with me. Hear this song and picture our sanctuary; our girls in radiant white. They carry in the light: with candles in hand, they set the stage and assemble the manger scene. They dance with joy and triumph and promise; inviting us to join with the chorus of familiar words. Their rejoicing echoes the angels and the heavenly host. Their movements saying “Glory to God in the highest!” And they help ring in a virtue of the season in a way only art can. That is what music and dance does for me. I hope you feel it too, {joy}, bursting in your chest. Because as a MercyMe song says, “It’s not good news, it’s the best news ever.”

~ Kait

To Do: I challenge you to dance for joy at least once this season. Whether you start a family dance party, grab a partner in the kitchen, or close the blinds and dance alone (I do it all the time), feel some exuberance in your body. We sure could use it right now.

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