The great hymn writer Charles Wesley penned these beautiful words over 200 years ago:
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.
It is hard to imagine a more appropriate hymn to reflect on Advent. As we begin the Church’s year with the season of Advent, looking back to the promises that culminated in the Incarnate One, and looking ahead to his return in glory, let us remember to “find our rest in thee.” This is a season of hustle and bustle, bargains, madness, and, for many, loneliness, bitterness, and hurt. Don’t let the world take the season’s joy away. Remember Israel’s consolation, the joy of every longing heart – Jesus Christ – who was, who is, and who is to come. May God draw us nearer to Himself, into His story, into His purposes, this Advent season.