One of my favorite hymns this time of year is Charles Wesley’s, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.”
“Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free”
Have you ever waited for something so long you could “taste” it? It seems strange to sing a song of Jesus’ expectation when most know that Jesus will be born. The season of Advent reminds us to wait, to be patient, to pray that we will hear and understand and live Christ’s story anew. It is a yearning and groaning that the Kingdom has not yet come to fruition. There still exist the human-made sins of poverty, greed, oppression, and hate, so come, Jesus, come!
“From our fears and sins, release us. Let us find our rest in thee”
Have you noticed that when the Angel appears to Mary or Joseph or the Shepherds, the first words out of it’s mouth is “Be not afraid.” Not to sound like Yoda, but “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.” The first candle we light in the Advent season is the candle of Hope because Hope is the first does of the medicine which destroys the cancer of fear.
“Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art”
God’s people are named “Israel.” Israel means, “S/he who wrestles with God,”as we are told when Jacob wrestled with God all night, only to find that with the sunrise he received a limp and a new name. Have you ever wrestled with God? If so, then consider yourself one of God’s chosen!
“Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart”
I’m humbled to know that people who don’t look like me or think like me or love in same way I love, all desire some common things: Safety, compassion, love, a place where the women are strong, the men good-looking, and all the children are better than average.
Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy to you as we together await the coming Christ child.