Advent Music: Come Though Long-Expected Jesus
Today, church family, I want to talk a little bit about a season of music that does not always get as much love as it deserves: Advent. In many ways, it is easy to rush by Advent and go straight to Christmas. Our world likes this; some radio stations have been playing only Christmas music since the beginning of November! On the one hand, that’s okay. We do not limit Easter hymns to only around Easter, why should Christmas carols be limited? On the other hand, I do want to take a little time and appreciate some of the wonderful hymns there are that lift up this season of Advent.
One of my personal favorites is “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”. This hymn was written by the great Charles Wesley in 1744. This hymn really sets the stage for the Advent season. It is based on Haggai 2:7 which reads, “I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.” The lyrics of this hymn encompass the Jewish hope of the Messiah and the Christian belief in the fulfillment of the Messiah as Christ Jesus. We celebrate that hope; yet we also long for his kingdom to come.
As we have begun this first week of Advent, I invite you to read these lyrics over the coming week. I pray that they will fill you with the hope and longing of this season; hope because we are celebrating the birth of Jesus and longing for his second coming.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Amen
1. 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. 2. 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.