Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Tis the season for Christmas carols, and one of my favorites is this one -
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 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.


Dear Lord Jesus, please come to us on Christmas. Come to us on Christmas Eve. Come to us this very day. Perhaps I should ask you to help me come to you. You are always here, always present, it is I who turn away.

Bring peace to us. Bring healing to us. Bring reconciliation to us and through us into this sad and broken, pained and warring, beautiful and glorious people of yours.

From our fears and sins, our prejudices and anger, our violence and addictions,
our sadness and sorrows, our divisions and doubts, our brokenness and selfishness,
our depression and obsessions, our weakness and excuses, please release us.
Please help us to be willing to let them go.

You know me, Lord. You know that sometimes I would rather hold on to my attitudes and opinions, my convictions and predispositions than release them and allow for truth to prevail, for grace to abound, and for peace to reign.

Let us find our rest, our help, our joy, our peace, our strength, ourselves in thee.
Please help us want to find you and find ourselves and find forgiveness and
find grace to help us in our times of need.

You know me, Sweet Jesus. You know that I don't want to forgive those that I think have done wrong, but I want to be forgiven. You know that I don't want to extend grace to others, even though I want to receive grace. You know that I want to be right far more than I want to be loving. Please forgive me, help me, and transform me.

You are my strength and consolation.
You are my healer, my redeemer.
You are the hope of my life, my heart, my future.

You know me, Healing Savior. You know that without your strength, your presence, your comfort, I wouldn't be here. Kanswer and kanswer treatment would have consumed me. You know the attachments I form so easily, the ones that distract me and draw me away from you and those I live with and love. Please, Lord, be my hope, my love, my joy, and my heart.

You are the answer to my deepest desires and my deepest questions.
You are the center of my deepest joy, the reason for my highest praise,
and the source of all that is good and perfect in my life.

You know me so well, Gracious and Generous One. You provide me with everything I need and long for, often even before I realize I am in need. You give me reason to smile, to laugh, to write, to pray, to sing, to dance, and to encourage others. Your grace is all-sufficient. Your mercies are new every morning, every hour, every moment. Great, so very great is your faithfulness.

Lord, I need, I yearn, I long for you to deliver me from my worries,
to deliver me from my jealousy and pettiness,
to deliver me, deliver all of us from our habit of vengeance and violence,
to deliver us from our hopeless cycles of consumerism and guilt,
activism and apathy, criticism and shame.

You know me better than I know myself, Savior, Deliverer and Soon-Coming King. You know that, given enough idle time and aimless thinking, I heap impossible rules and expectations on myself, berate myself for not living the way he or she or they live (whoever he or she or they may be), convince myself that my dearest friends and beloved family members no longer love me, and then cry myself to sleep over my lack of worth.

I am tired of living this way. I am tired of suffering this way.
Reign in my heart, I beg. In my life. In my thoughts.
Because my thoughts sometimes trick me and my fears often tyrannize me.

Lord, I need your gracious kingdom,
your peaceable kingdom,
your reconciled kingdom,
your glorious kingdom,
your joyful, hopeful, love-filled kingdom.

Come, thou long expected Jesus. Not only on Christmas. Not only for a short while.
Oh come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel.


I like this version of the song -  especially the bridge they added.
"You have come to us, O God; 
You have come to us to save;
You have come to us, Emmanuel;
You are worthy, worthy of praise."

And if you aren't sick of this song yet or tired of singing Joy to the World, 
this is a slow, thoughtful, soothing rendition of the two songs combined.

And this last one is short and so very sweet.
Jesus, oh what a wonderful child, indeed.

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