I have to admit, I’ve always disliked “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” As Christmas carols go, it felt stodgy and pedantic, lacking the cheer of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” or the comfort of “O Come All Ye Faithful.” But this past Sunday, we sang a version at church that incorporated a new chorus into the traditional lyrics. Being on media duty in the sound booth, I spent a lot of time staring at the lyrics, making sure they were right and timed according to the music. And as often happens when you’re focused, I found myself surprisingly touched by the lyrics.
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
I’m anxious by nature. I work with it and around it, and I am learning to tame the beast, but that really only means that it lurks in the corner pulling at its leash. So in the midst of the craziness that has been the past couple weeks–Christmas shopping and parties and stitches and such–I found myself floored by this carol I had once dismissed. Rest. Let nothing you dismay. Remember. Christ. OUR SAVIOUR. I am often astray, often at the hands of that anxious beast, and often during this holiday season, especially. But this is also the time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our saviour, the one who offers comfort and joy and salvation. In that I can rest.
Needless to say, this carol is now one of my favorites. I can often use saving, rest, comfort, etc. And it was a great prelude to this week, when the kids are out of school and the shopping and parties are all finished and we can enjoy uncharacteristically rainy weather with the peace the season should always bring. It’s an early Christmas present for our whole family.