Rev. Andy Wright, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Topeka, KS, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Lutheran Service Book #347, “Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People.”
This beautiful Advent hymn summarizes the Word of God from Isaiah 40 to give us Christian comfort. God sends His messengers to proclaim peace to us in the midst of our sorrows and sins. This peace comes from the fact that God forgives our sins for the sake of Christ and covers us with His righteousness. God works this great reversal for us to take us from temporary sadness to eternal gladness. For that reason, we must listen to the preachers God sends to call us to repentance so that nothing stands in the way of His coming as our King. In that humble repentance, we find our rest in the promises of God, because we know that His Word will never fail.
“The Hymns of Advent” is a series on Sharper Iron that looks at a variety of the hymns found in the Advent section Lutheran Service Book. The season of Advent prepares us for Christ’s coming. The hymns of Advent teach that this is more than getting ready for Christmas; the Word of the Lord sung in hymnody helps us to receive Christ as He comes to us now in the means of grace and when He comes again in glory on the Last Day.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Lutheran Service Book 347
1 “Comfort, comfort ye My people,
Speak ye peace,” thus saith our God;
“Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning ‘neath their sorrows’ load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover
And her warfare now is over.”
2 Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
Blotting out each dark misdeed;
All that well deserved His anger
He no more will see or heed.
She hath suffered many a day,
Now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
Into ever-springing gladness.
3 Hark, the herald’s voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Calling sinners to repentance,
Since the Kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet Him
And the hills bow down to greet Him.
4 Make ye straight what long was crooked;
Make the rougher places plain.
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits His holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
Now o’er earth is shed abroad,
And all flesh shall see the token
That His Word is never broken.
Text: Comfort, Comfort Ye My People
Author: Johann Olearius, 1611-84
Translator: Catherine Winkworth, 1827-78
Tune: FREU DICH SEHR