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.
- Charles Wesley
This is one of my favorite Advent hymns. You don’t have to look that closely at hymns of this season to spot the difference between Advent and Christmas hymns. They are both great, but Advent songs have an ache in them (…long-expected…), they talk more about Israel and speak to the coming fulfillment of hope. Advent hymns point to the coming victory of God in Christ and invite us to give our lives and voices in service and song. We know a thing or two about ‘longing hearts’ and I know many are hungry for the hope and joy that only God can deliver.
In this season of longing hearts and expectant hope, I invite you to download the University App or visit our Media page to follow along with the devotionals offered by members of our community about the gifts God has given them. Gifts that come to us that we share with others multiply joy and impact. In addition, our annual designated Christmas gifts this year will be invested in our community partners like Impacto and our local school partnerships. If you feel called to offer a financial Christmas gift, please make that donation under the Christmas section on our Giving page. I know University will be generous in sharing the gifts God has poured out upon us with our community and Christ mission.
Whatever year you have had and whatever your disposition is to the future; I pray that this Advent is a season where you are freed from sins and fears, that you find rest in the person and power of God, and that like Israel and generations before we find strength and consolation in the hope of all the earth that became flesh in Jesus.
With growing expectant hope,