Monday, December 20, 2010

Hymns for {Advent} Worship: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

I love almost all the traditional Christmas carols, but this one is so special to me. For some reason, I consider it more of a hymn than a "carol", I guess because it hasn't been secularized the way some of my favorite carols have. I have been singing it to Ann Peyton all month, but it was only when I received a Christmas letter from one of our dear friends including the words to this special song, that I really sat down and pondered their meaning again. They touched me so much because I felt like they were so applicable to all I've been going through right now. One quick sidenote: I know that for me anxiety is IN PART a spiritual battle and is one of Satan's best tools of attack. I also know that there is a lot more to it, so if you struggle with this kind of thing please don't hear me minimizing it or downplaying the fact that there is a big part of my anxiety that is not just "the sin of worry". That said, I'm not going to go get any Lexapro this week and I'm also not going arrange a counseling session five days before Christmas (not that either would be wrong to do). What I am going to do is focus my Heart on the most important thing.

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus
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.


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.

Come thou long-expected Jesus,/Born to set Thy people free;
I love these lines because it reminds me that He HAS come and we are free. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)


From our fears and sins release us,/Let us find our rest in Thee.
This is the part I've been singing over and over to myself the past few days. It seems I'm ever aware that our Savior came to release us from SIN. But from FEAR? I forget that part. Every fear I have struggled with over the month of December is a fear that He was born to release me from. That is powerful. This week I will find rest in Him. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Mathew 11:28)


Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart


Israel's strength and consolation,/Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Just as He was Israel's strength and consolation, He is mine. Where else can this kind of strength and consolation be found, but for the Lord? He truly is the hope of all the Earth.

Dear Desire of every nation,/Joy of every longing heart.
I know that only in Him will I find my deepest desire met and only in Him will I find the joy of my longing heart. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth. (Luke 1:14)


Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a Child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.


Born Thy people to deliver,/Born a Child and yet a King.
That little baby was born to be a king, a king who would deliver his people from sin and death. And fear.


Born to reign in us for ever,/Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
He will reign in us forever and the kingdom is here and now. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:33)

By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.


By Thine own eternal Spirit/Rule in all our hearts alone;
That is my prayer for this week- that He will rule in my heart alone. I don't want materialism, or stress, or fear to rule in my heart this week or ever.


By Thine all-sufficient merit/Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
But it will be by His all-sufficient merit if that is accomplished, as I seek his glorious throne. When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. (Mathew 25:31)

This week I'm committing to seeking His throne and doing my best to allow Him to rule in my heart without competition from the holiday stress and mess and to allowing Him to deliver me from my fears.

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