Merry Christmas 2019
Thanksgiving brought to mind many things I am thankful for in 2019. Life, health, family, outstanding ministry colleagues, and Buckner ministries top the list. Buckner is indeed shining hope every day among children and families, and we are inspiring happiness among seniors as they enjoy their retirement years.
The cool weather, lights, decorations, food, family, and Christmas carols remind us that Christmas is here. Dr. Jeff Warren, (www.pcbc.org), has chosen to lead us to focus on “Joy to the World,” celebrating advent. “The Coming” of Christ is marked by four candles each December Sunday representing: Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace.
One of my favorite Christmas carols is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The chorus says: “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; Oh tidings of comfort and joy.”
This very cheerful, happy, good news carol was sung as early at the 15th century, but it wasn’t allowed to be sung in church. Churches sang dark, somber songs usually written in Latin. This carol was sung in the 15th century in the streets of London as a festive and celebratory song of good news by peasants living at that time. We do not know the author, but we do know what the meaning was. The English word “rest” meant “keep or make” and the word “merry” meant “great and mighty” more than 500 years ago. The equivalent meaning today would be: “God make great and mighty gentlemen and women, there is nothing to dismay you. Remember, Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day to save us from Satan’s power; when we had gone astray … its good news of comfort and joy …”
Now is not the time to shrink back but to step up with this as our rallying song, reminding us to live out our faith in confidence and celebration of the good news Jesus brings. When you hear this carol, remember God makes us mighty servants to a world that needs hope; because Jesus came, He rescued us to shine hope. Download your complimentary Advent Guide today! Merry Christmas!