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Hymn: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

by PastorMinton on February 19th, 2016

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Author: Charles Wesley (1744)
Typical Tune: Jefferson, Southern Harmony (1835)

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HYMN BACKGROUND

Charles Wesley, one of the greatest and most prolific hymnwriters of the eighteenth century, considered Haggai 2:7 as he pondered the plight of the orphans around him as well as the class divide in Britain. The verse says, “And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of al nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts.”

In the midst of these ponderings, especially as he prepared for the Christmas season of 1744, Wesley put his prayer in words and then to music. His simple prayer is really the most basic prayer of every Christian: “Come, Thou long-expected Jesus.” Our neighbors’ pitiful plight in this world should fill our heart with this prayer. We should look for Jesus’ return so that we might be delivered from these plights.

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LYRICS

1 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.

2 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.

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COMMENTARY

This hymn’s simplicity anchors itself in the Christmas story as known to man now. It is not written from the perspective of those awaiting His birth. It is written from those who know His birth narrative and the fact that He has gone into Heaven to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). We await His return so that we might be received in the heavenly realms. Although this is an Advent hymn, this prayer is still appropriate for the season of Lent.

From → Hymnody

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