Advent means “coming”. We get our word from the Latin “adventus” which is a translation of the Greek “parousia”, which is commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For followers of Jesus, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
This year, I want to share a few of the hymns that my family sing to help us focus on the season and bring us closer to the King of Kings who humbled himself to save us all from our rebellious hearts.
This morning’s sermon was on the hope of justice. It seems fitting that I had picked this hymn for today’s post.
“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” was written in 1744 by Charles Wesley. As he was looking at the situation of orphans around him, he adapted his thoughts on Haggai 2:7 and a published prayer of the time into this beautiful hymn.
‘I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. Haggai 2:7
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 Thy own eternal Spirit Rule in all our hearts alone,
By Thy all-sufficient merit Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
On this, the second Sunday of Advent, we anticipate the justice promised to us by our God. This is the “parousia” aspect of Advent, when we see the world around us and take comfort in the future peace that scripture lays out for us. We even have a promise and it’s fulfillment:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:18-21
Through Jesus, we can see the truth of God’s justice. We are able to rest in the promises of things to come based on the revelation that we have.