Tidings of Comfort and Joy

He came to restore two thousand Christmases ago. And while we eagerly wait for Christ's return, we have "tidings of comfort and joy."

a month ago   •   2 min read

By Jordan Hopkins

Celebrating the 2nd Coming of Christ in Light of His First.

I can’t believe we’re well into December.

And I dare say: The last month of 2020. 🤫

At the Hopkins house this year, we decorated early. Usually I am the one to wave my hands in caution and say, “It’s too early…we gotta keep it special and wait....”

But 2020 forced my hand.

The week of Thanksgiving I was up in the attic dropping large boxes on my son to carry off to the driveway. We unwrapped lights. Drank egg nog. Played our favorite Christmas hymns.

We embraced the joy of Christmas early this year. We needed the deep joy of Christ’s birth to take root sooner.

“O, tidings of comfort and joy...”

One of my favorite songs this time of year is a really cool version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.” It’s worth a full listen…

Some of these old Christmas hymns offer the richest theology about the gift of Christ!

And the “good tidings” in this song are not your latest Alexa delivery updates or the Cyber Monday deals swamping your inbox....

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ, our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

These good tidings are about our Great Restorer, who’s made us right with God through His own sacrifice.

And this is the theme I want to explore with you during the next few weeks of Advent: Restoration.

The First Restoration

Jesus has restored us back to God at His first advent (or coming). This is what we long for and celebrate at Christmas.

It’s much more than the nostalgia (but do I love me some Elf and egg nog) and the deep longing for family connection (though I need this more than any year).

It’s about humanity’s restoration back to God, from sin and death to wondrous new life.

Though we look back at Christ’s victory, we still see and feel the hurt of sin and evil in our world. The Bible describes the created world as "groaning” while it waits for the final liberation of Christ.

Don't you feel the strain too?

The Coming Restoration

We look back at Christ’s victory over sin. We also look ahead to His victory over death at His second advent.

In the meantime, we can echo the ancient words of the Psalms…

Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

Psalms 80:3 (NIV)

Until then, we experience Christmas each year, reopening the gift of the Light of the world.

So, as you drive by homes festooned with icicle lights, LED projectors, and oversized inflatables, remember it’s all a symbolic glimmer of our coming Hope in Jesus.


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