Of the couple dozen Christmas CD’s I enjoy during the season, some are collections of music by good, but not necessarily named artists and choirs. And yet the artists themselves have attracted me to other CD’s in my Christmas music collection; Elvis, James Taylor, Dolly Parton, The Carpenters, and Andy Williams to name a few. One CD that I bought based on the featured group, but without a certainty that they would indeed be able to deliver seasonal sounds, is Jethro Tull. At least to my ears, a couple of their tunes have become some of my Christmastide favorites. So it is with an instrumental version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen from “The Jethro Tull Christmas Album.” As Tull fans night expect, this is a rousing rock version of this classic Christmas tune that leans heavily on the flute. Like many of the instrumental numbers I enjoy at this time of the year, my mind races to add the words as the music moves along.
God rest ye merry gentlemen, let noting you dismay,
remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day,
to save us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray,
O tidings of comfort and joy …
And to the Lord sings praises, all you within this place,
and with true love and brotherhood, each other now embrace,
this holy tide of Christmas, all others doth deface,
O tidings of comfort and joy…
Christmas is about our salvation. That is God’s gift to us in Jesus. And Christmas is about how the good news of our salvation influences our lives each and every day into the future.
When we study those who first received the good news of our Savior, their lives going forward were demonstrations of the power of God’s gift.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen,
as it had been told them.
When the wise men saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.
On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother;
and they knelt down and paid him homage.
The shepherds returned to their jobs in the fields glorifying and praising God for the good news of the Savior’s birth. The wise men bowed down and paid homage. What will we do, each day, as we join the ranks of merry gentlemen and gentlewomen, with the tidings of comfort and joy?
God, as we move into new days in a new year, help us to keep the Spirit of Christmas in us as we live merry lives in celebration of the comfort and joy that we have received in the Christ in whose name we pray. Amen