God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?

il_fullxfull.276417766I’m tired. My wife has been away this week, and I’m so glad she was able to go. My kids are old and mostly trouble-free so single parenting isn’t nearly as difficult as it used to be. Not even close. The week went smoothly and well.

But still it wore me out. And the parties every night. And the end of year reporting. And the extra details to figure out. And the Christmas shopping. And the wondering if we have enough money or if I need to return a few things because I over-did it. And the worrying about friends and family this time of year.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen 
Let nothing you dismay

Remember, Christ, our Saviour
 Was born on Christmas 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

I’m not feeling very merry. We’re often in dismay. We’ve often gone astray. But we’re called to remember Christ and how he was born on Christmas day to save us from Satan’s power. God listens. He did something. He came near. He came close. He’s still listening and he’s still close. He’s Emmanuel.

A new phone won’t make you happy. A new video game won’t make you happy. A new relationship status won’t make you happy. A new bonus check won’t make you happy.

Those are good things. They truly are. There’s nothing wrong about them and it’s okay to want those things. They’re good. They’re good gifts.

But let’s also be happy in Christ. The carol calls us to remember and it also calls us to rest. We need rest. We’re worn out from all the strife, the fighting, the worry, the bickering, the protesting, the hating. And we’re worn out from the shopping, decorating, partying, cooking and cleaning. We’re worn out from the work. Let’s rest in Christ. I need rest in Christ today and every day.

May that rest – salvation in faith alone – bring us glad tidings of both comfort and joy today. This day. This year. Ever renewed. It’s a comfort and joy for prophets of old and for people like you and me. Your ultimate happiness is found in Christ. Trust in him alone, for he is our Emmanuel, God with us. He is our happiness and our rest.

Headshot 2 Nicole Hager