Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Twelve Blogs of Christmas (6)

This is number six of what will hopefully be a twelve part series of blogs between now and Christmas reflecting on lyrics from holiday songs. See also Parts One, Two, Three, Four and Five.

Part Six: Oh Tidings of Comfort and Joy, Comfort and Joy...

Hmm. I heard this one on the radio this morning and knew it was gonna be the blog line du jour. It's from the song God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (as far as versions go the Barenaked Ladies with Sarah MacLachlan one is my favorite cause it mixes this song with We Three Kings which could potentially appear in a future blog too....)

I think as a child caroler I always took God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen to be a happy song encouraging everyone to find happiness in the Christmas season. Even the title rings up images of Dickens and a proper, stiff-collared Christmas wish for peace and joy. But in hearing it this morning, I realized that the song isn't necessarily about joy as in "Happy Happy Joy Joy!" Rather it's wishing Comfort and Joy. Comfort for sorrows, easing of pain, and the joy of the Lord - which is strength. This type of joy isn't about warm fuzzy smiley feelings, but a deeper seeded inner joy that comes from knowing God is sovereign. Even if things are not how we would have them, life is still blessed. Comfort and Joy.

I try to make this blog about the good things in life. There's enough pain and hardship in the world that this can be a forum to look for a silver lining, a positive outlook. With that in mind and this being said, I don't want to gloss over the rough times that people - myself included - go through or give the impression that I live in some bizarre Utopia. I realize and acknowledge that the Christmas season can be a very difficult time of year for some people. If I seem happy or upbeat all, or at least most, of the time it's because of this principle of Comfort and Joy that I wish upon all of you as well.

Has it been a fabulous year? Definitely. Has it also been a really tough year? No doubt. Comfort and Joy. We had three family weddings, I also attended two funerals. There was unemployment, there was a new job. There were breakups, hook-ups and divorce. Three loved ones announced pregnancies, two parents buried their son. There was health, there was cancer. There were four new homes to celebrate, there were clothing drives for people who lost their homes. Maybe the goods outweigh the bads, maybe vice versa, maybe it all just evens out - it doesn't really matter though because through all of it, good bad and ugly, there is comfort and there is joy and with those simple tidings it has been a truly blessed year.


Greg said...

>>Rather it's wishing Comfort and Joy. Comfort for sorrows, easing of pain, and the joy of the Lord - which is strength.<<

I had never thought of it in that way before, but I think you're on to something.

Enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing.

lisa :) said...

Tony pointed out to me too that the song title is actually "God rest ye merry, Gentlemen" and not "God rest ye Merry Gentlemen". The little comma points out that they are told to "rest merry" implying that they are not "Merry Gentlemen" to begin with.