Greetings In The Name of the Lord:
Luke 1:69 (NLT)
He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David,
In preparation for my current sermon series, Christmas Songs of the Bible, I have been thinking a lot about some of my favorite Christmas songs. My unquestioned favorite is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, is an English traditional Christmas carol. The melody is in the minor mode. It was published by William B. Sandys in 1833, although the author is unknown. Like so many early Christmas songs, the carol was written as a direct reaction to the church music of the 15th century. However, in the earliest known publication of the carol, on a c. 1760 broadsheet, it is described as a “new Christmas carol”,suggesting its origin is actually in the mid-18th century. It appeared again among “new carols for Christmas” in another 18th century source, a chapbook believed to be printed between 1780 and 1800. It is referred to in Charles Dickens‘ A Christmas Carol, 1843: “…at the first sound of ‘God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!’, Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Rest_You_Merry,_Gentlemen). In my opinion, the words to this song not only describe the true meaning of Christmas, but they also represent the Good News in its truest and simplest form. The song begins with, “God rest you 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 had gone astray.” The true meaning of Christmas is that Jesus came to save us from our sins, a feat we could not accomplish on our own. We can take solace in the fact that Jesus sacrificed all to come to earth and die in our place. The Good News is that Jesus has done all the work and all we have to do is receive it! This my friends brings tidings of comfort and joy.