Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart, prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing (3x).
Here within the everyday-of-our-lives is born unto us - the fullness of our humanity. It comes to all. It comes to the earth - the whole thing. It comes that we might enjoy the gift which we created to be - God's Beloved. To enjoy this gift (God's Beloved) is to live into our humanity and embrace our humanity for it is the reality in which we are able to reflect the image of God's love and grace. To be a part of this joy-filled reality as God's Beloved is to also enjoy this image in others - even the ones we call buttholes. That is not always so easy. And yet, joy comes to the world - the whole world.
It may be that as we are caught up to appreciate that which always-has-been-and-will-be, we will find the presence of other stories vying for our life and attention. The Lord-that-comes is the vision of the creative power of our humanity that becomes manifest within all the crap that seems to win the day. Joy comes as God's gift to humanity - being made in the image of God - so that the whole earth will be transformed here and now. The image in this hymn comes as a child - a real child - God's image unfolding within ordinary days that are usually filled with visions quite contrary to the Image of God becoming alive among us.
Joy does not come to the world in order to show us a way we can get out of the world or be delivered from the world or escape this life for another place and time. Joy is life in which we are introduced to the wonder and blessedness of being human - simply human. For within that reality will come the makings for peace and healing and forgiveness - or more simply put - the restoration of the image of God as portrayed in the story of creation. It is available to the world - every heart - every life - without limit or conditions. It comes within the wind - the mere turning of the earth - the breath we share. To sing of such joy is to sing of a gift that is out of our control. For if it was a gift over which we had control, it would not be for the whole world. Rather it would be just for the world as we want it - just to save our butts from those buttheads over there.
Enjoy our humanity as it is created to be - in the image of God. At the very center of our lives - within our hearts, so to speak - is room to imagine life that is not owned by any power of the world - even the power of our own desires. The joy about which we sing may bring into our lives situations and experiences that do not resemble the self-serving happiness and contentment the world often associates with joy. This joy-to-the-world that comes among us may bring about actions not appreciated by governing powers (family - business - politics - religion). To see God's image in the lives of the rejected ones - those displaced and push out - those ridiculed - those shamed and belittled, is to become in the eyes of these governing powers ones who must be likewise rejected - displaced -pushed out -ridiculed - shamed - belittled. For when we enjoy our humanity, we find joy in all of humanity. When we - as God's Beloved - see others as God's Beloved without condition (that is as we are able to enjoy them) our warring madness - our violence against others - our fear of others - our desire to control our world will cease. The incarnation - the story of the birth of Jesus - announces with a brilliant light - a way to enjoy the world without limit. It unfolds in nothing more than the ordinary day-to-day vision of God's image available as those around us - all of them. All of the sudden, the world doesn't simply change - we change also. Enjoy.