Chesterton, Dickens, and Comfort in the Fog

Chesterton, Dickens, and Consolation within the Fog

G. Okay. Chesterton known as Charles Dickens the poet of fog. InA Christmas Carol, for instance, London’s fog serves as a backdrop from which characters emerge with lamps and light-weight.

When Scrooge is first greeted by the caroling of God relaxation ye merry, gents, he responds such that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog.

Dickenss fog shouldn’t be dismal or darkish, Chesterton says, however slightly one thing that pulls in and, within the case of Scrooge, corners. Fog makes the world small, in the identical spirit as in that widespread and pleased cry that the world is small, which means it is filled with associates. The fog of London brings messengers to Scrooge and ultimately sees him return to associates.

Chesterton is selecting up on the theme of consolation. Consolation, in spite of everything, belongs peculiarly to Christmas; above all it belongs preeminently to Dickens. The fog attracts Scrooge inward, to a spot of consolation. For inside there are fires and feasts. Chesterton explains:

The wonder and the true blessing of the story don’t lie within the mechanical plot of it, the repentance of Scrooge, possible or inconceivable; they lie within the nice furnace of actual happiness that glows via Scrooge and every little thing spherical him.

Our Up to date Fog

Our day is a fog. Bleak headlines and cultural conflicts fill our streets and airwaves. Confusion pervades. But we regularly miss out on this fog as a reminder to maneuver to locations of consolation, locations with fires and associates, locations that arrive naturally presently of 12 months.

George MacDonald known as Christmas Day the sooner or later that blesses all of the 12 months. As a result of on the coronary heart of Christmas is a message of comfortthe heralding of a kingdom that brings tidings of consolation and pleasure.

The promise of a Messiah-King got here in a blessing from the patriarch Jacob to his son Judah, that via him a king would reign (Gen. 49:10). Chris Bruno explains:

It was into this damaged household line that God promised the scepter of kingship, the rulers workers. However the descendant of Judah wouldn’t solely be the king of Israel, he would even be a king over the nations.

Gods individuals noticed a part of this prophecy fulfilled with the rise of King David, about whom Nathan stated: God will set up the throne of his kingdom eternally (2 Sam. 7:13). But David revealed solely a part of what was but nonetheless to return.

The Previous Testomony ends with the messianic promise unfulfilled, Andreas Kstenberger writes, however the New Testomony begins with a verse that declares Jesus to be the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the long-awaited Messiah! (Matt. 1:1)

Thus, when the angel of the Lord brings good tidings of nice pleasure (Luke 2:10) to the shepherds, it marked the tip of 400 years of intertestamental silence concerning the coming Messiah.

Into the darkness of night time emerged a lamp; into the chilly, damp fog a lightweight started to flicker: the arrival of Jesus, Messiah King. J. I. Packer powerfully articulates the hope of this primary Creation:

The Christmas message is that there’s hope for a ruined humanityhope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glorybecause on the Fathers will Jesus Christ grew to become poor and was born in a secure in order that thirty years later he would possibly cling on a cross. It’s the most great message the world has ever heard or will hear.

Return of the King

At current, although Jesus guidelines on the proper hand of the Father (Eph. 1:2023), we don’t but see every little thing in subjection to him (Heb. 2:8). Nonetheless, we’ve hope that Jesusthe ruler of kings on earth (Rev. 1:5)will come once more to reign in full. Into our world of fog he’ll return, and he’ll wipe away each tear from their eyes, and loss of life shall be no extra, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor ache anymore, for the previous issues have handed away (Rev. 21:4).

The previous issues will move away. Every part unhappy will come unfaithful. However as we wait in what usually looks like a dense, low-visibility fog of worry and despair, might we growlike Scroogein our receptivity to heat, gentle, and hope.Simply as Dickens used fog to drive Scrooge to gentle, associates, comfortGod makes use of the fog of darkness in our day to attract individuals to himself, the sunshine who shines on the individuals residing in deep darkness (Isa. 9:2).

The story of the reigning and returning Messiah-King is the Christmas Carol. Into the chilly fog might it convey heat tidings of consolation and pleasure, this Christmas and each Christmas.

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