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Summary: Rediscovering Christmas Joy

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Christmas Joy -- Rediscovering it

INTRODUCTION

The Paradox of Our Time in History

Michael McCartney Wrote in a Message entitled "the Joy of Christmas" The paradox of our time in history is that....

* We have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

* We buy more, but enjoy less.

* We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

* We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

* We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

* We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

* We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.

* We've added years to life, not life to years.

* We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

* We conquered outer space, but not inner space.

* We've done larger things, but not better things.

* We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

* We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

* We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less.

We've got more of nearly everything but JOY.

Anyone felt like this yet?

Joy

C.S. Lewis called it "The serious business of Heaven."

Joy marks the difference between existence and life. Its presence upgrades survival to being. Joy is our enjoyment of God and the good things that come from God..."

Proverbs 10:28: "The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing."

One of the most popular English carols is "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." It's interesting to notice that the comma after "Merry" is often misplaced, causing it to read "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen." Yet the original punctuation helps to indicate that the song is for all gentlemen--to one and all--whether merry or not, with the hope and blessing that God will cause them to be merry.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen : Lyrics

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

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 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

T.S. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen is about rediscovering Christmas Joy.

T.S. - In Charles Dickens Christmas tale Scrooge is transformed by the Joy he discovers celebrating the wonders of Christmas in his heart.

In Luke Chapter 2 we see a group of men who discover "Christmas" Joy. Turn there with me now.

Luke 2:8-20

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

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