Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
As we turn our calendars to December, we turn our attention toward the Christmas season. I appreciate seasons. Life would be monotonous were it not for the beautiful rhythms of change. As we enter the Advent season, I embrace the opportunity to wait, contemplate, and rejoice in the gracious gift given to all mankind, the Word made flesh, Jesus.
Charles Wesley published Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord, a collection or 18 hymns, in 1744. Although this collection was reprinted 20 times before Wesley died in 1788, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” is the only one to survive into popular usage throughout the years. This hymn has a timeless quality.
A Common Longing
All mankind longs for freedom, for release from fears and sin. Jesus is the only One who can set us free through His all-sufficient merit as the perfect sacrifice for sin. Jesus conquered sin and the grave
A Universal Satisfaction
Jesus is able to meet the needs of all mankind. This hymn describes Jesus as “hope of all the earth” and “dear desire of every nation.” There is no culture, no personality, no generation beyond His reach. Jesus is the one and only gift given to all. Jesus is the only One who can bring us back to God the Father.
For All Seasons
In all seasons, not just during Advent, in response to our longing Jesus replies: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” [Matthew 11:28-29]
Accept Jesus’ gracious invitation and find your rest in Him. Jesus is, indeed, the joy of every longing heart. Let Him rule in your heart alone, reigning in your life forever. Let Him be both your strength and consolation.
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.