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Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Dec 18, 2016
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Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
The time of Christmas brings great anticipation and expectancy for many. Children count days and hours until the morning of December 25. Those with an “empty nest” long to hear the doorbell ring, announcing the arrival of their grown children. Expectation, hope, and joy are divinely linked together.
At the time of Jesus’ birth, Israel had been waiting many centuries for the promised Messiah to come. The hymn written in 1744 by John Wesley, Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, captures the expectation: “Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.” With over 300 references by Old Testament prophets, many were fiercely longing to see the arrival of the Christ.
Simeon was a prophet in the Temple when Jesus was born. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that the birth of the Messiah would precede Simeon’s death. Anna, a prophetess, was worshipping day and night in the Temple, continually expecting the coming of Christ. Their hope was fulfilled when Joseph and Mary entered with Jesus. Their mission to prepare people for the Messiah was fulfilled.
Next weekend when packages have been opened in our homes and the food is consumed on Christmas Day, remember that we are still waiting with great anticipation. Our Lord Jesus promised He would return again. In fact, there are more references in the New Testament of Jesus’ second coming than in the Old Testament of his first coming.
We live differently in time of intense waiting. As today’s focal hymn reminds us, Jesus was “…Born to set thy people free; born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.” This is why we celebrate, why we sing. And we wait with hope in the promise of Christ: “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)