Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

I love Christmas music -- everything from Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack to Mariah Carey; from Charlie Brown to She & Him. Rocking around the Christmas tree is fun. But I also need music to help prepare my heart and and mind as I reflect on the first coming of Christ and look forward to His second coming. When we listen to or sing traditional Advent music, we are joining with the historical church, recognizing and affirming again things like Jesus' miraculous, sinless birth; God coming into our broken world and what that means for us; and the promise of His eventual return.

One of my favorite Advent hymns is "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" by Charles Wesley.

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 for ever, 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.

My two favorite arrangements come from Christy Nockels & Sandra McCracken. They sound very different, but both are beautiful.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyckfDVPzx4&w=320&h=192]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djc_cT6cwlU&w=320&h=247]

As I've listened to this song, it  has become a prayer of my heart.

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.

I'll post more music in future posts, but I'd encourage you to explore the music of this season. It will help to focus your heart on Christ, and cause you to rest in Him.