COME, THOU LONG-EXPECTED JESUS
Charles Wesley, 1707–1788
I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come … (Haggai 2:7 KJV)
Anticipation is a necessary and important part of every believer’s life. In Old Testament times the people anxiously awaited a Messianic Kingdom. Today we should be waiting with the same urgent expectancy as did the Israelites of old. But our anticipation is the Lord’s second advent—the piercing of the clouds and the sound of the trumpet—when victory over sin and death will be complete and final.
Not only looking, but longing the blessed Lord’s return to greet;
Our crowns of glory to gather and cast them with joy at His feet,
Not only waiting, but watching, wistfully scanning the skies;
Anticipating that daybreak when the world’s true Sun shall arise.
The Old Testament prophecies were very specific concerning our Lord’s first advent. The prophets gave the exact location of His birth (Micah 5:2) as well as the sign that He would be virgin born (Isaiah 7:14). Likewise the New Testament gives clear instructions regarding the second advent: “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations … and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth near” (Luke 21:25–28 KJV).
“Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus” is another of the more than 6,500 hymns written by Charles Wesley. It was first published in 1744 in a small collection of 18 poems titled Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord. The vibrant “Hyfrydol” tune was composed by a 20-year-old Welshman, Rowland H. Prichard, in about 1830. The tune means “good cheer.” It has been used with many of our popular hymns.
Just as Christ’s birth 2,000 years ago dramatically changed the course of human history, so will the return of our Lord as the King of kings. With the saints of the ages we pray, “Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus.”
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 ev’ry nation, joy of ev’ry longing heart.
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.
For Today: Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 7:13, 14; Matthew 1:22, 23; Luke 1:32–35
Rejoice in the truth that God’s eternal promises are unchangeable: Christ was born and He will return. Sing this truth as you go—
Osbeck, K. W.
- For unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given: and the government is upon his shoulders, and he shall call his name, Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The prince of peace. The increase of his government and peace shall have none end he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to stablish it with judgment, and with justice, from henceforth, and forever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7
- As I beheld in visions by night, behold, one like the son of man came in the clouds of heaven, and approached unto the Ancient of days, and they brought him before him. And he gave him dominion, and honor, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall never be taken away: and his dominion shall never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14
- And all this was done that it might be fulfilled, which is spoken of by the Lord by the Prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is by interpretation, God with us. Matthew 1:22-23
- He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom shall be none end. Then said Mary unto the Angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not man? And the Angel answered, and said unto her, The holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:32–35