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Dec6WedAdvent - a time to prepare for Christ's coming into the world December 6, 2017 Major Jennifer Hale
Advent – a time to prepare for Christ’s coming into the world; a time of repentance and longing as well as hope and joy. It’s a special time if taken seriously. However, too often we are so busy during this time of the year that we neglect to consider the significance of the Christmas season.
I was asked recently about my favorite Christmas Carol. Of course, there are many, but the one that stands out the most is Come, Thou long-expected Jesus written by Charles Wesley.
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.All thy people’s 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 they gracious Kingdom bring.By thine own eternal SpiritRule in all our hearts alone;By thine all-sufficient meritRaise us to thy glorious throne.
In this carol, Wesley captures the essence of Jesus’ mission to a troubled world - born to set thy people free, born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever. I don’t know about you, but as I look around I see a world that needs to know again the significance of Immanuel, God with us. I see a world that needs to be released from fear and sin, people who are weary and need to find rest in Jesus. I’m reminded again that only Jesus is the hope of the world and I’m challenged once more to be faithful to the message of the gospel. May it be so for all of us this Christmas season and may the Lord use every kettle shift, every food and toy hamper, and every cup of hot chocolate as an opportunity for us to share the message of the Gospel. We may live in a different time than Charles Wesley, but the longings for security, love, and meaning are just as deep.
This advent season as I sing this beautiful carol, I’m not only preparing my heart to celebrate that first Christmas but I’m also readying myself for the second-coming of Jesus – thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Yes and Amen!