Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her king;
Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing.
With “Joy to the world” in my heart and mind, I’m looking each of these twelve days of Christmas for the beauty and wonder in God’s world, for instances of the joy that runs through all of creation.
It’s been warm here. While I actually enjoy wintry weather, and while I’m a big fan of long spells of seasonable temperatures that might indicate that our climate is still fundamentally stable, there is always joy in seeing new growth.
This is what I found in the patch of mint on the south side of our house: a little bit of green, a few new leaves growing among the dead stalks of last summer’s plants.
One of our Easter hymns, “Now the green blade riseth” (Hymn 204), is set to the tune of the Christmas carol Noel Nouvelet. The last verse is this:
When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Thy touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.
Here’s the King’s College Choir from Cambridge singing Noel Nouvelet: