God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God_Rest_Ye_Merry_GentlemenGod rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior 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.

In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessèd Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessèd morn;
The which His mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heavenly Father a blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

“Fear not, then,” said the angel, “Let nothing you afright
This day is born a Savior of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him from Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

The shepherds at those tidings rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethl’em straightaway this blessèd Babe to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

But when to Bethlehem they came where our dear Savior lay,
They found Him in a manger where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

God bless the ruler of this house, and send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas may live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred that live both far and near—
That God send you a happy new year, happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.

Words and Music by Unknown, ca 15th Century

 


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28 – 30

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57


 

The Christmas season is full of joy and excitement. A time that many people look forward to every year. There are parties, gifts, shopping and travel. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of selfish desire when greed seems to dominate our thinking. And for some, it can be a dark, difficult time remembering those we have lost, or how little we may have. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” reminds us that it should be a time to find rest in God’s loving arms.

The author writes, “God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.” He sees people in the world who face the difficulties of life. People who selfishly look out for themselves. People who feel alone. He sees a people who are in desperate need of rest that can be found in God alone.

But how do we find this rest? The hymn continues, “Remember Christ our Savior, was born on Christmas day.” The reality is that Christ is the only means to find this rest. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

This is the very reason that Christ came to earth, the very reason he “was born on Christmas Day . . . To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.” Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This is the “Satan’s power” the author wrote about.

The difficulties we face can come from outside forces or they can come from the sinful choices we make or from both. But there is hope, for “thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57) Christ is the only way we can know that hope. He is the only source of the rest we so desperately need.

So as we remember the amazing gift that He has given us, we can find hope to rest in. So we sing with so many others, “O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy; O tidings of comfort and joy.”

 

 

Read more about “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

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