Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
by Rob Yongue
December 8, 2019
Read Isaiah 40:27-31
Daniel 7:13-14 — “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
I hate waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting for the light to turn green. Waiting for the previews to end and the movie to begin. Waiting for food to cook. Waiting for test results to come back. Waiting for the new year to begin … and then waiting for it to end. Waiting for answers. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Sometimes the waiting is brief, but at other times the waiting can seem to go on indefinitely. But one thing is constant…I’m always longing to fast forward through the present circumstances and get to the place where the waiting is behind me.
Charles Wesley first published “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”, in 1744. In writing this great hymn, it was his intent that people recognize the significance of Advent in the midst of the Christmas season – we commemorate the birth of Christ and express our longing for His second coming. The hymn is a prayer that begs God to be among us—a prayer and a cry of all who wait on the Lord. “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” calls out to the longing in our hearts—the deepest part of our hearts—and shares the hope of the season we are entering—God’s son has come as Savior of the world.
Although we live in a different time than Charles Wesley, the longings of people’s hearts run just as deep today. We long for security, love, relationships, meaning. We long for an end to all of our waiting. Let us open ourselves to the message of this hymn that identifies with that longing at the deepest levels of our existence. Let us all take heart in Jesus; our long expected Jesus, who has come…and who will come again!
Prayer: God, We know that Christ goes with us and before us every day, but we long for the day when we are with Him in all of the fullness and glory He will bring. We long for the day when we are with Him in a New Heaven and New Earth, when all things are made new. Amen.