Today, and for the next 11 days, I plant to highlight a Christmas hymn each day.
We have an immense treasure trove of Christmas music that is rich in theology but also in beauty. Each day I will highlight a hymn by sharing the lyrics, noting a few excellent qualities of it, and then sharing some audio links for both the traditional hymn and a great arrangement of it. I’ll try to offer each in several different music services. I hope to focus our attentions on the glory of Christ’s coming to this earth. I do not have a rigid order to these. Furthermore, they do not reflect my favorite ones either! In fact, I have far to many Christmas favorites to list! But they are all great in their own right and worthy of our Christian consideration.
The first we start with is the hymn, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” written by Charles Wesley.
Here are the lyrics:
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.
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.
Like many great Christmas hymns, this one plays between Christ’s first and second comings. Israel, and the whole earth need the Messiah to come. And we do not need this just for His first coming, but for His second – “now thy gracious kingdom bring.”
Have a listen!