Day 7: God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen

Christmas can bring so many frustrations and concerns. What gifts do I buy? Will all my family interactions go well? Do I say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? How will I afford everything?

It’s no wonder this time of year brings so much anxiety and depression.

Of course, we all know it shouldn’t be this way. In fact, this is THE time of year to feel exactly the opposite. If there is one thing we should all feel, it’s JOY!

Maybe it’s because we’ve forgotten what this time of year means. I mean, really means!

The writer of the book of Hebrews, in just one sentence, reminds us of what the coming of Jesus is all about:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood,
he himself likewise partook of the same things,

that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death,
that is, the devil.

(Hebrews 2:14 ESV)

One anonymous poet in the 15th century turned this remarkable message into a carol we now know as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” considered by some to be one of the oldest carols in existence:

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!

The writer conveys the same gospel as the write of Hebrews: Satan, through the Fall, has brought about death and its power. But Jesus, by coming as God in the flesh, has broken the power of death and promised eternal life to all who believe.

Don’t let this season depress you with a bunch of questions that ultimately don’t matter. Spend this season meditating on this one truth: Christ is born and I am freed from the power of death.

That’ll be all the comfort and joy you need for a lifetime!

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