"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is probably my favorite Christmas carols. I have been doing some reading about it and had never really noticed the comma that is before gentlemen. This changes the meaning...it doesn't mean that this is addressed to happy gentlemen (like I think most of us think). The word "rest" orignally meant "keep" or "make" and some claim that "merry" meant "mighty". So if you take this in to account the carol would go more like:
"God keep or make you mighty (or merry), gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior
was born on Christmas Day!"
I find this very encouraging especially as I struggle with chronic pain. We have nothing to be downhearted or depressed about because Christ was born on Christmas! And even more important is the fact that God knows that we can't do this on our own....He will keep us and make us merry and mighty!
May you all find much peace and joy this holiday season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!