Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus!
Author: 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.
Alpha and Omega Thou art, Oh God. “In the beginning …” begins the Bible. We were born into sin, the sin of our fathers, the disobedience of Adam and Eve. We had it all, there in the garden which must have surpassed all gardens ever imagined. Oh how I would have loved to see the beauty there. But that was not to be. We were condemned by sin, the original sin, of separation from the Word of the Lord. We are all separated in time and space from You, Dear Lord. We were sentenced to toil, anguish, and pain. But we do have hope through Your Word, that we will be united again in paradise. Our tears will be dried, or fears released, our lives put to rest, our sin absolved through the sacrifice of Jesus, Your only Son.
My longing is to be freed from separation; my complete adoption fulfilled; my happy reunion with You, Father, face to face, hand in hand, free to walk and talk and stroll together again in Your lovely garden.
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.
Birth, a process our Mothers were cursed through pain and agony, brought us all into Your world. Blessedly the memory of birth is wiped away, just as we hope death’s sting will be as well. Mary, mother of Jesus, was not spared the pain of childbirth. As if to emphasize His willingness to prove He would take on our suffering, Jesus was born out-of-wedlock, unwanted and un-welcomed in His Father’s birthplace, Mary and Joseph suffered the rejection and shame of lying in cattle stalls. No help, no warmth, no human kindness accompanied His birth. Only poor shepherds, themselves outcasts, witnessed His birth by following a star set as a guide leading them to their long-awaited Messiah. I can imagine, the confusion, fear, anguish, and frustration the Holy family must have felt. I can imagine the great fear of the star’s strength of light in the night sky; I can imagine the unbelievable astonishment and yes, fear, of the host of angels proclaiming His birth. Jesus was born and His birth is celebrated each year throughout the ages. He was born for us personally, individually, lovingly. As a mother awaits the birth of her child, we await Your Glorious return.
“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” come set us free! Amen