God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, 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-Published by William B. Sandys in 1833. Author unknown.
There is some good theology in these older Christmas carols as well as some of the new.
The writer of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” knew the power of the gospel when he (or she) wrote, “To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.” By coming to live and die for us, Jesus did way more than just save us from the penalty of sin. He saves us from the power of sin.
The author of “Away in a Manger” (Author unknown) Speaks of sanctification as well as justification.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.
That’s what sanctification is, fitting us for heaven and saving us from Satan’s power. (Some newer versions of this song say “take us to heaven” instead of “fit us for heaven.” Why the change?) Today as Seventh-day Adventists study and share the sanctuary message, many scoff at us when it comes to the holy place and most holy place, where sanctification takes place. They want the sanctuary to end in the courtyard where justification takes place, and not go any farther. Yet years before the Adventists ever discovered the “cleansing of the sanctuary” message, these and many other Christmas hymns had an understanding of the complete gospel, and a comprehension of all that Jesus accomplished by His life and death on the cross, and what He can accomplish in our hearts today!
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from [From not in!] their sins.” Matthew 1:21 NKJV
This Christmas season let’s take some time to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful Christmas hymns, celebrating everything Jesus accomplished for us from the manger to the cross!
*Some versions of the song say “born on Christmas day.” When it was pointed out to me which version of the song I was using I quickly changed it to the version which says, “born upon this day” which could be any day. We all know Jesus was not born on December 25. The focus of the song and this post is not when Jesus’ birthday is, but that He came to free us from Satan’s power.