I thoroughly enjoy celebrating the Christmas season. I like the bright lights and decorations, the baking and yummy treats, the crowded shopping and wrapping presents, the parties and corny Hallmark movies (that make my husband cry), and the extra time spent with friends and family. I also really enjoy Christmas music. I like new contemporary songs and the old classic carols. For this week of devotions I will be sharing with you some thoughts on a different carol each day.
The Carol, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” was written in 1744 by Charles Wesley. Although, not as popular as some other Christmas Carols, it does have a wonderful message.
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.
The central theme of the song is that Jesus’ birth fulfilled Israel’s longing for a Savior. God’s chosen people were waiting for the Messiah, who was promised to them by God. Throughout the Old Testament, written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, God’s prophets repeatedly told the Jewish people of a coming Messiah. Jesus’ birth fulfilled many prophecies, such as the following:
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2.
The long expected Jesus came not only to fulfill Israel’s prophecies, but also to save the entire world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Jesus is God’s plan for salvation for each of us. As Wesley states, Jesus is the “hope of all the earth,” the “dear desire of every nation” and the “joy of every longing heart.”