• by Rev. Joseph A. Bias

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place


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

Today is the day of God News celebrated by billions of Christians around the world. Each year believers of nearly every language and nation on the earth gather with loved ones and fellow believers as well as those of other religious beliefs to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

This familiar carol, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”,considered to be one of the earliest ever written, dating back to the 15th century some believe, is a reminder to us that Christmas is a time to hear the sounds of joy and to dispel all sorrow and woe. It is a time to remember the promise of God fulfilled in the Messiah who has come to save us all from the darkness of Satan’s power which dominated the lives of men for centuries after the fall of Adam.

Now a Savior has come to dispel the darkness and gloom of night and usher in the light of God that brings hope, love and salvation to all who will believe and receive it. So the story unfolds in this ancient rhyme.

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

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father

A blessed Angel came;

And unto certain Shepherds

Brought tidings of the same:

How that in Bethlehem was born

The Son of God by Name.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,

"Let nothing you affright,

This day is born a Saviour

Of a pure Virgin bright,

To free all those who trust in Him

From Satan's power and might."

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings

Rejoiced much in mind,

And left their flocks a-feeding

In tempest, storm and wind:

And went to Bethlehem straightway

The Son of God to find.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem

Where our dear Saviour lay,

They found Him in a manger,

Where oxen feed on hay;

His Mother Mary kneeling down,

Unto the Lord did pray.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

Now it is our joy to sing and rejoice together with all those who have heard the message of love and received Him into their hearts. Not only do we rejoice in remembrance of His birth, but even greater we rejoice in the remembrance and acceptance of His suffering, death, burial and resurrection that has brought us salvation and eternal life with God the Father, Jesus our brother and Lord and the blessed Holy Spirit now and for all eternity to come.

We are now alive in Him and no condemnation can assail us. We have nothing to dread for the future. Our lives are now hid with Christ in God and we are new creations in Christ Jesus Our Lord. He came as a babe in a manger to one day be raised up on a cross for our sins then to be buried and sealed in a tomb. On the third day He was raised from the dead and forty days later He ascended up to Heaven, to the Father, to be seated at His right hand on His throne, there to rule and reign over all creation forever more. And the Father has seated us together with Him.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made asset together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:4-8

Grace is also the gift of Christmas. And that grace is freely given to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine; Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine, Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

[fifth stanza from “And Can It Be” by Charles Wesley]

So we celebrate this Holy Christmas Day with songs of praise for the birth of our Savior, our Lord and our King. This is the day we hear and declare tidings of comfort and joy.

Now to the Lord sing praises,

All you within this place,

And with true love and brotherhood

Each other now embrace;

This holy tide of Christmas

All other doth deface.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

#ComfortandJOy #BirthofJesus

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