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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Congregation Prepares To Sing 'Joy To The World' Four Sundays In A Row

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LINCOLN, NE – As Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus over the month of December, Prairie Road Church of Christ in Lincoln, Nebraska is preparing itself for multiple rounds of “Joy to the World.”

“It’s that time of year again,” says congregant Jim Booth. “You do what you can to prepare, but every time, it still takes you by surprise. You're just singing along to the normal worship songs, and then, BAM! A Christmas tune."

“Joy to the World,” with lyrics by Isaac Watts and music by George Frideric Handel, has been sung in churches every single Sunday each December since it was written in 1719.

Prairie Road isn’t the only church to belt out all four verses of “Joy to the World” during the Christmas season. According to HymnStats, a shocking 57% of churches sing the song every Sunday in December, with many churches singing the hymn as both the opening song and the closing song in a single service.

The singing of the hymn is problematic for people who don't care for Christmas music. While most Scrooges and Grinches simply white-knuckle their way through the hymn, others have developed more complex coping strategies, such as pretending to get an important phone call or going to the restroom and sitting in the stall for a few minutes.

“As a matter of fact, my throat is starting to get a little scratchy,” Booth told The Babylon Bee. “I would hate to get somebody sick, so I probably shouldn’t go to church in December.”

According to a source with knowledge of the church bulletin, “Joy to the World” will be the opening song this Sunday at Prairie Road.

The post Congregation Prepares To Sing 'Joy To The World' Four Sundays In A Row appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

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