God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ your Saviour was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy.
In this carol, written c1760, the term “rest” actually meant “to keep.” God keep you. Charles Dickens quotes the essence of this phrase in A Christmas Carol, “God bless you, Merry Gentlemen.”
But today’s use of the word rest still rings true. We can rest because God keeps us. We can rest because the Saviour has rescued us. As the song explains, He has rescued us from the power of Satan! But look at the next part of that statement: when we were gone astray.
When the world is in chaos.
When society embraces sin and shuns Truth.
When we choose to go astray and walk right into Satan’s grasp, God’s love and forgiveness still reaches us. Even then.
I believe we break God’s heart when we choose to sin. Not that our sin takes Him by surprise. He knows we will sin. But it is His love for us that led Him to plan a way back for us. It is His unimaginable love for us that saved us, and now enables us to rest. In spite of the chaotic world. In spite of our failings. In spite of sin.
No matter what we’ve suffered. No matter what we’ve done. No matter how unredeemable we think we are. God has redeemed us. He has saved us from the power of Satan, from our choice to go astray. Rest in the comfort and the joy of that.
Keep Seeking the Kingdom!