Friday, December 8: We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Friday, December 8: We Wish You a Merry Christmas

When I hear “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for the first time each season, my first thought is, “Wow! Christmas is coming!” and I am filled with fresh joy. Then, however, the singers reach the verses.

“Now, bring us some figgy pudding…

We won’t go until we get some…”

Suddenly, my head is filled with images of hordes of angry carolers beating down my door, breaking in to my house, and ransacking my cupboards in search of this elusive “figgy pudding”, which is terrifying! Not to mention that I’m not at all a fan of American-style pudding, and the word alone is enough to wreak havoc on my soul.

Therefore, let’s set these verses aside, and concentrate on the rest of it. We’ll save the title verse for a moment, and skip straight to the “meat” of the song.

“Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin.
Good tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!”

A very sweet sentiment, certainly, but more than that, it is a call. “Tidings” means “news”, after all, so this line could be written as “Good News we bring to you and your kin!” We know that “Gospel” means “Good News”, so it follows that we could further write this line as “We bring the Gospel to you and your kin!”

Suddenly, a cute little ditty is a call to evangelism! What better news could we bring than “Our savior is born!” What could make for a merrier Christmas and happier new year than faith and salvation? But, to whom are we bringing this good news?

“We wish you a merry Christmas”

Everyone. The lyrics don’t call for us to bring the news only to our own loved ones or friends. They don’t specify to only bring the news to believers, or “good people”, or “people like us”. It’s a very vague “you” in this song.

Our challenge, then, is to examine how we are preaching the good news. Are we keeping God in our minds, words, and hearts? Are we sharing His Word with believers and non-believers alike? Are we even bringing the news to the ones who have hurt us? To the ones we most don’t want to bring good news?

Sarah Papin