When I first heard “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, all I thought of was the movie “Robinhood, Men In Tights”. After a bit of research, I learned that an updated translation would read more like “God Keep You Mighty, Gentlemen”. Well, that made more sense, and erased the images of the aforementioned movie from my mind, whew! The refrain of “Oh tidings of comfort and joy” is an encouragement to press on no matter what. A reminder that, despite our circumstances…Jesus came! Some think Christmas Carols are nothing more than traditional choruses (with way too many chords) that we’re just supposed to sing in December. But don’t miss the truths of the Gospel that blatantly run through these good old songs.
Have you ever sat and read the lyrics of these familiar tunes? “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry W. Longfellow is my favorite. Having had his fair share of tragedy, he takes us on a journey of ups and downs that we all face.
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.”
But wait, Longfellow wasn’t finished yet!
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
Did your heart leap a bit when you read that? Our God is alive and well, and working in our lives! Search these old songs for yourself, and you’ll see they are chock full of truths. Let God speak to you in a new way through them, one of them may even become your new favorite worship song!