Rejoice and be merry
in songs and in mirth!
O praise our Redeemer;
all mortals on earth!
For this is the birthday
of Jesus our King,
Who brought us salvation,
His praises we’ll sing!
With the announcement of the season of Christmas, many of us first think of all the extra tasks or jobs we have associated with what is to be one of the most joyous occasions of the year.
Instead of focusing on the wonder wrapped about the miracle Christmas is.
It took a death, then a birth to restore my vision.
My sister in law passed away suddenly at the beginning of winter a few years ago, and the weight of grief hung heavy over my heart. I knew we were to be celebrating Jesus has come, but all I could feel was the loss.
I allowed it to overshadow the gain.
For Jesus isn’t just a gift doll we pull off of the shelf each Christmas, playing with him for a bit then putting him away with the other ornaments until the next.
He is the gift itself.
He is Present.
He is Love.
God with us, through it all.
One of my coworkers had a baby the next Christmas, and the excitement His arrival brought into my heart made me realize the miracle of God coming to us as one of us.
But the story doesn’t just stop with His birth.
This Christmas, choose to rejoice.
Not because you have to, but because you choose to.
You may be under the weight of loss, pain, weariness.
He knows, and He came to join you right where you are at.
Not in the castle of the rich and famous, but in the humble shed of a working man, surrounded by the works of his hands.
To a woman who’s priority was serving God before all else. Her reputation, her engagement, her family ties.
To a man who although he started off shaking with doubt, came through when she needed him most.
Love was the undercurrent of the Christmas story, and the story He is continuing to write in our lives.
For the sky may be dark and the fog blocking our sight, but He is there to lovingly guide us as He Himself is our Light.
Because He never lets us go, we can rejoice.
Because He is always with us, we can be merry.
Because of who He is, we can always have a song to sing in praise!
This carol is also referred to as the Gallery Carol, one of the traditional pieces sung by many choirs in their church galleries before the invention of the organ, in the early 19th century. It is believed to have been written in the 18th century, and is considered to be a Dorset Carol.