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Charles Wesley wrote this Advent hymn in 1744 to remind us of the nativity and of the second coming of Christ. Wesley's words express our fervent prayers and our deepest desires.


Our personal invitation to Christ Jesus to come into our hearts and lives. During the Advent Season, we send out invitations to family and friends to join us for food and fellowship. We invite people into our homes because we want them there, because we enjoy their company, and because we love sharing food and fellowship together. The very same reasons apply to our Lord, Jesus Christ! So, we sing: "Come, Lord Jesus...."


We all have busy schedules. It takes a lot of planning and preparation and hoping to get everyone together. God's chosen people had been preparing and hoping for hundreds of years for the Messiah to come; their waiting is hard and the uncertainty is unbearable. Just as the Jewish people awaited the arrival of the Messiah, so we await His Second Coming! "Come, thou long-expected Jesus!"


When a baby is born, it marks the beginning of a new life, a new beginning for us. When Jesus was born, He was "born a child and yet a king." He was born of a human mother and the Heavenly Father. Jesus was fully human and fully divine -- an eternal mystery. We don't understand how it happened. We only know that it did happen. "Born to set your people free...." Because Jesus was born among us, we are free from the power and temptation of sin! Because Jesus was born, we are free from all our fears. Because Jesus was born, we are free from the uncertainties of life and of the future. Finally, Jesus was born to reign in us forever. Born to be the divine guide that shapes our daily lives. Born to lead us where life is at its best.


Our rest. "Let us find our "rest' on Thee ..." Our strength. " ... our strength." We are weak, but the Lord, our God, is extremely strong. Our consolation. When I was a kid, I'd fall and bruise myself, and I'd run to my parents for consolation. They would take me in their arms, bind up my wounds, and say, "You're gonna be all right." He is our hope. "Hope of all the earth, Thou art...." "Hope" is looking forward to the future, with confidence. It's knowing that we have a godly purpose and a godly reason for living.


"When every nation shall desire Him...." When Christ " ... shall fill every longing heart" with His eternal joy. When Christ shall restore hope to all those with no hope. When He shall rule in every heart. And when Christ shall raise the faithful to be with Him around God's glorious throne.


The door to our hearts is open, we welcome you into our lives, as family. Come on in, Lord Jesus, and let's celebrate together! Amen!

Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions are those of the author.

Religion on 12/07/2017

Print Headline: 'Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus'

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