Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Joy in a COVID-19 World 1

 We were well into the virus shutdown when the words of one of my "walking songs" struck me with this sentence:

"Ever singing, march we onward, 
Victors in the midst of strife."

Wow. I latched on to that expression of God's promise to his children in scary times. That entire hymn had already become one of my favorite hymns.

But the encouragement I found in the idea of "victory in the midst of strife" also ignited my curiosity and sent me to Wikipedia. The melody of "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" is Beethoven's "Hymn to Joy." Lyrics are a poem penned by Henry Van Dyke in 1907. 

What a blessing the entire hymn is for me in the midst of our world's terrible COVID-19 news and political strife.

Our Lord and Savior cares for his children. He showers us with blessings, even when we haven't asked for them specifically and even when we fail to recognize and acknowledge his care.

May you experience joyful moments today.

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee*

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love.
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav'n reflect thy rays.
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow'ry meadow, shining sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living,
Ocean-depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother
All who live in love are thine:
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals join the mighty chorus
Which the morning stars began.
Father-love is reigning o'er us,
Brother-love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward
Victors in the midst of strife.
Joyful music leads us sunward**
In the triumph song of life.

*Some words differ in various hymnals. The verses above are from the 1975 Baptist Hymnal, Convention Press.

**I always mentally change "sunward" to "sonward." It  seems more worshipful to me.



  1. "Our Lord and Savior cares for his children."


  2. Oh Linda, thank you for printing all the words to this beautiful hymn. So many times I learn a song but don't dwell on the words and really understand the full meaning of them.
    What perfect words for this time of strife, rebellion, sadness and even boredom for many.
    Thank you and I pray you are doing well.
    We are hanging in there.
    It's a beautiful day today and I am looking forward to walking around our neighborhood for our exercise.
    We will probably go to the grocery store too. We have 2 birthdays to celebrate from afar..one will get a card with some cash and the other some of her favorite goodies to eat..that's about all we can do at this time...
    Take care

    1. I have been the same way, and I didn't really recognize how relearning these songs and singing them over and over daily has deepened my understanding and appreciation of their message. Thank you! Your comment alerted me of even more reasons to be thankful.

  3. P.S. I like the change of sunward to sonward too...
    even though auto-correct doesn't..haha

  4. Beautiful hymn of praise. instead of reading the words, I found myself singing them. Yes, God will take care of us, of that we can be sure.

    1. Loved knowing you join me in joyful song!

  5. This is just what I needed today!! Thank you so much! Uplifting and beautiful.

  6. i love this song and now it is playing in my head.. thanks

  7. I love the old hymns and keep a hymnal in my 'Bible Basket' and open to one every day as I do my devotionals. I love the ones you love, too!!

  8. That is a beautiful hymn...I had to wait till I had quiet time to read it.

  9. So good to remember that there is joy, "even in the midst of strife." Thanks for the visit and the inspiration.

  10. Thanks for printing out all the words. Very uplifting. I'm starting to gain a new appreciation for the old hymns we used to sing.