In 1744, Charles Wesley Published Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord. This was a collection of 18 hymns that were reprinted some 20 times before Charles Wesley died in 1788. Number 10 in this collection, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus is the only hymn to survive into popular usage. Today, twelve different denominational hymnals include the hymn, and it’s one of my favorites of this season.

What is there about this text that has made it so timeless? Perhaps it’s how the hymn resonates with our deep human longings for freedom, for deliverance from sin and fear, for God to establish his Kingdom on Earth. Perhaps it is the age-old longing for a Messiah who will rule with strength and consolation, bringing hope and joy and a new order for all of creation. Perhaps it’s our search for an all-sufficient God who will rule graciously and gloriously in our lives, transforming our poverty into abundance.

These themes suggest to me that this isn’t just a hymn for Advent and Christmas but a hymn for every day. Here are the lyrics; see if you can see any of your deep longings in the text:

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.

My hope for us this Advent and Christmas is that Jesus would release us from our fears and sins, that we would find rest, and hope for our longing hearts. That by Jesus reigning in us that we might live lives worthy of the Gospel, lives that build hope and rebuild our community for Christ.

I look forward to worshipping with you throughout the coming days as we await our long-expected Savior!

Merry Christmas, and God bless,
For Jesus. For People. For Community.

Saturday, December 23
5pm – Quiet Christmas

Sunday, December 24
9am – The N9ne Contemporary Worship
11am – Traditional Worship
7pm – Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship

Sunday, December 31
9am – The N9ne Contemporary Worship
11am – Traditional Worship

Sunday, January 7
9am & 11am – Wesley Covenant Renewal Worship