“He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love”
(from Joy to the World, Isaac Watts)
In some ways, it’s strange that Christians often sing Joy to the World at Christmas. It wasn’t originally written as a carol and there are no mentions of shepherds, angels or a baby in a manger. Jesus isn’t even mentioned by name.
But the words of the hymn celebrate the joy and goodness that is brought about by Jesus’ kingship. At the first Christmas, a king was born, whose good rule and reign will one day “make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.”
Just as Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden condemned the whole world to pain and frustration, the ‘Second Adam’, Jesus, brings life and restoration to every inch of the universe.
Jesus came to make humans right with God. And when we see the fullness of his kingdom come, we will see every aspect of creation transformed (Rom 5-8).
That’s our conviction at Christian Concern. The good news (gospel) of Christmas is that Jesus is King – King of individuals, King of every nation and King of the whole cosmos. And when the kingship of Jesus is followed in our hearts, our institutions, our laws and society, we find that he really does “rule the world with truth and grace,” making the nations “prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love.”
As 2019 comes to an end, we are determined to speak of Christ’s rule – with truth and grace.
Some Christians sadly think that to be full of grace you have to downplay the truth. We don’t. Jesus, the most loving, gracious human ever to live, called himself ‘the Truth’ (John 14:6). To the broken and weary he was gentle. But to those hardened in sin and leading others astray, he was forthright and uncompromising.
We pray that in the year ahead, God would provide all that we need to declare “the wonders of his love.”
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