This past Sunday, we sang one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time. Its lyrics are simple, yet profound. As a song, it doesn’t have near the familiarity to it as Joy to the World or Angels We Have Heard On High. And yet, the depth of the lyrics are thoroughly groundbreaking.
Imagine being told for hundreds of years (passed down from generation to generation) that one day, a King would come to set your people free. The Messiah would come to be the joy of every heart; to be a deliverer; to rule forever. Can you imagine the expectation? We get really excited as we wait in anticipation to open a few presents under a tree. Can you imagine the excitement of the people of Israel as they waited for their Savior?
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.
I love thinking back to the time when God’s people were waiting. I also love the fact that we get to look back at his first coming and look forward to his return. This Christmas, as you wait for December 25th to arrive, allow that same excitement and anticipation to rule in your heart as you think about Jesus coming again one day to bring his people home forever.