Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gentlemen revisited


The Christmas carols are speaking words of truth again this year, loud and clear.  Until I gather my thoughts for my next post, I thought I'd share an old one.  

Reposted from 12/23/12:


New found appreciation for a an old Christmas hymn seems to hit me every year. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is this year's winner.  The first line has always thrown me off because I don't use words like "ye" and "merry" and because I'm not a gentlemen.  All I picture is a group of Ebenezer Scrooge types being all 1800s and then I'm lost- not attentive to the rest of what this song really heralds.  But as I've really listened this year, I've been greatly moved by its message:

"...let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our savior was born on Christmas Day, to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray, oh oh tidings of comfort and joy..."

All these years I've sung these beautiful words dense with theology and hope and yet I've missed it.  Not any more ye merry gentlemen- whoever you are.  This year, I'll be belting out tidings of comfort and joy with a new appreciation for ye old tune.  

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen 
published by William B. Sandys in 1833

1. God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this 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.
2. From God our heavenly Father
A blessed angel came,
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name:
O tidings ...
3. The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway,
This blessed Babe to find:
O tidings ...
4. But when to Bethlehem they came,
Whereat this Infant lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling,
Unto the Lord did pray:
O tidings ...
5. Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface:1
O tidings ...

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