The well-known Christmas carol ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’ has a line in it that says ‘Glad tidings of comfort and joy.’ It explains the Christmas message to us clearly.
After a year where we have experienced the unforeseen effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on our world, our communities, our friends, and our families, we certainly are in need of both comfort and joy this Christmas time.
The writer of the carol ‘Once in Royal David’s city’ also expresses the heart of the Christmas story for us, in that Jesus feels for our sadness and shares in our gladness.
There is so much pressure for all of the ‘joy’ and excitement of Christmas, that sometimes we don’t leave room to acknowledge the other emotions we experience too. If you feel lonely, you will feel more acutely lonely at this time of year, if you have known grief and the loss of a loved one, its more poignant in this season, and so it continues.
I love the way that the old carols acknowledge the range of emotions of the Christmas season, and encourage us to do the same.