written by Rev. Carol Cooper

I love Christmas music. I think it is some of the most beautiful around. For argument’s sake, most people think Christmas music cannot be listened to until after Thanksgiving. But, rules are meant to be broken, right? (And yes, I break this rule often.) But for today, let’s take a look at an Advent Hymn. In Advent, we wait…so today, I will wait to listen to Christmas music and instead, I will focus on the beauty of waiting.

The Israelites were used to waiting…waiting to be delivered from Pharaoh, waiting in the wilderness, waiting for a Messiah…

Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free

They and we long to be set free…free from fear, pain, sorrow, anxiety, depression, and the list goes on…

From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee

They longed for a King─the one who would come and rule justly. They wanted an earthly ruler…

Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)

Born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” (Col. 3:14-16)

By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

Read or Sing this as your prayer:
Hymn: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, by Charles Wesley

Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

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