Day 11: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

by Dec 11, 2020Christmas 2020, Devotional, Songs of Christmas

God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay

Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day

To save us all from Satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray

Oh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy


In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessed Babe was born

And laid within a manger upon this blessed morn

The which His Mother Mary did nothing take in scorn

Oh tidings of comfort and joy


Fear not then, said the Angel, let nothing you affright

This day is born a Savior of a pure Virgin bright

To free all those who trust in Him from Satan’s pow’r and might

Oh tidings of comfort and joy

Each year, November 1 is a much-anticipated mini-holiday for me. After weeks of restraint, the first of November is the day I break out the Christmas music. I love *almost* all Christmas songs (with a hard pass to Josh Groban), but God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman is possibly my favorite. True story – I actually have a playlist of my favorite renditions of this beloved carol. From Barenaked Ladies to Nat King Cole, from Jars of Clay (both versions!) to Pentatonix, from Kim Hill to Manheim Steamroller, from MercyMe to Kenny G, I love them all.

Beyond the haunting minor key, the lyrics are timeless. Comfort and joy. In the best of times, these are welcome tidings. When things seem hopeless, when all is dark – comfort and joy is the best possible news.

At first glance, they don’t seem to go together. Needing comfort implies something has gone terribly wrong. Comfort involves giving hope, bringing encouragement or easing grief. Joy is the exultation you feel when something has gone extremely well. Joy is delight, bliss, jubilation. Typically, if you are experiencing joy, you don’t need comfort.

Being comforted is very different from being comfortable. There was nothing comfortable about the birth of our Savior. Conceived in scandal, born in filth among animals, threatened with slaughter as a toddler – the arrival of Christ looked very different than most would imagine.

Yet His arrival brought joy – GOOD news of GREAT joy. Because the angels knew what the shepherds couldn’t fully grasp. In a world imprisoned by the power of sin, the birth of the Savior who would soon break the curse forever is the very best news and cause for overflowing joy.

And here’s where we also need comfort. We live in the tension of the already but not yet. The curse is broken, but sin still exists. We are saved for all eternity, but still must live with pain and suffering. We have much reason for joy, but desperately need comfort as well.

 God rest ye merry gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay

Remember Christ our Savior

Was born on Christmas Day

To save us all from Satan’s pow’r

When we were gone astray

Tidings of comfort and joy, indeed.

Day 16: Silent Night

Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright 'Round yon virgin Mother and Child Holy infant so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace   Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!...