Jesus Is the Joy of Living

by admin ~ February 17th, 2018. Filed under: Brandenburg, Jesus.

I was thinking of a song I sang in congregations while growing up and into my adult life, Jesus Is the Joy of Living. The idea just popped into my head, while considering what to write. I wondered about the song, because the music seemed like it came from a certain revivalist era. I read about the author and composer, Alfred Henry Ackley (1887-1960), who wrote 1500 religious and secular songs in his lifetime, trained at the London Royal Academy of Music, attended Westminster Seminary, a Presbyterian pastor, but had worked with Billy Sunday for his campaigns. His music mainly doesn’t match the content of the old hymns and the psalms. Overall, I don’t like the trajectory his songs took church music with less focus on God and exegetical language. They are not up to that standard, but some of them serve as good hymns and spiritual songs, worthy of being sung. Even as I meditated on the song of which I’m speaking, I loved the biblical truth again, Jesus is the joy of living. It is true. The next line helps tell why, He’s the King of life to me. There is a love and affection that Ackley communicates that represents worship in spirit. The end of the first verse reads, “Ev’ry blessing of His favor fills my heart with hope so bright.”

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