Yesterday was the 339th birthday of Isaac Watts, who wrote hundreds of hymns. More than a dozen of them are in our hymnal, including “Jesus Shall Reign Were’ere the Sun,” “Our God Our Help in Ages Past,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” But probably his most familiar hymn is “Joy to the World,” which was not meant to be a Christmas Carol when he wrote it. While there is the reference to “The Lord has come,” nowhere in the hymn does it say anything about a baby being born in Bethlehem. Watts was inspired, not by the birth story in Luke, but by Psalm 98 that reads in verse 4: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.” And then later it says, “Let the sea roar and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming…”
This Sunday we will be having a Christmas in July brunch right after worship. There will be some great food, including Christmas cookies, and proceeds will benefit Operation Christmas Child. So I thought it would be appropriate for our closing hymn in worship to be “Joy to the World.” I decided this, partly because of Isaac Watts birthday, partly because of our Christmas in July brunch, but mostly because of the second verse of the hymn:
No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground.
He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found.
We will be wrapping up our 5 week series on the Lord’s Prayer, focusing on the phrase, “Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil…” This phrase is asking for God’s blessings to flow far as the curse is found. Nicole Thies will be playing an introit, and as a fitting closing for this sermon series, Jeff Evans will be singing “The Lord’s Prayer.” You won’t want to miss it.
There will be some sign ups down in the social room after worship. First off, we will be hosting the Family Promise families from July 28th through August 4th, so we need some help with that. Second, on August 3rd, we hope to have an FPC crew to spend the day working on the new Habitat for Humanity house, here in Marion. If you can give some time to help with some construction, or even to help fix the meal for those who are working, that would be great.
Next week, July 26th will be the last day you can drop off the juice boxes for FLY. We have launched our backpack project for Marion Cares. Stop by the social room and pick up a list of school supplies that you can purchase for a needy child in Marion.
Finally, if you or someone you know is interested in our Youth Coordinator position, please submit resumes to the pastors or one of the Personnel Committee by July 31st. If you would like a detailed position description contact the church office.
Stay in One Peace,