Sermon: Songs of the Season; Simeon’s Song
Scripture: Luke 2:25-39
Joy to the World (1719)
Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
This hymn is the author’s adaptation of Psalm 98:4-9, which is part of today’s “Call to Worship.” There has been some controversy over the years concerning the tune to which this text is set. The composer, a Baptist named Lowell Mason (1792-1872), claimed to have arranged the tune from a melody by Handel when it was first published in 1836. The only problem is that many Handel scholars have scoured his work looking for the melody-only to conclude that Mason must have made that part up! Nevertheless, it is no doubt a tune which has enhanced the hymn’s popularity.