Christmas season in our household is one of many ups and downs. The sugar highs and subsequent crashes, the nostalgia of fond memories and the sadness of missing relatives, trying new recipes and traditions, only to have them fail. Staying merry, sustaining joy over the weeks leading to Christmas, is a daunting task. One that, frankly, I'm not up to.
This year I am trying, really trying, to keep perspective. I'm trying to circle-back to what this whole thing is about when I lose the plot. This morning I'm spending some time with the lyrics to the old English carol, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."
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
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 Comfort and joy 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 Comfort and joy Oh tidings of comfort and joy
God rest us, God keep us. Let us not be dismayed. Let us receive His comfort and joy. We don't have to fabricate it. We don't have to dance around like court jesters, in order to be merry this Christmas. We can be comforted. We can rest in the knowledge that He has come to defeat our enemies for us, the He has come to free us. The merry making is response to His goodness, His divinity and light coming to our dark world. So, let's embrace that kind of merriment, the one that gives deep soul satisfaction and comfort, and let's be merry-makers ourselves this year.