Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus – Music From The Depths – EP-015

Published on November 30, 2020

 

There’s this saying that people use sometimes, when they can’t take much more. It varies a bit in how it’s stated, but it’s often something like “Jesus, come quickly!” Bono (of U2) worded it slightly different with, “Wake Up Dead Man.” No year in my own life has this sentiment been more accurate (or often heard) than this year. I’m sure you don’t really need another person commenting on what 2020 was like though.

There’s an interesting history lesson: In 1744, Charles Wesley wrote the song “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.” You can paraphrase at least the second verse as, “Jesus, come quickly.” But why he wrote that is the interesting part.

The song came as a direct response from seeing the lives of orphans around him, and also how Great Britain was heavily divided by class. That sounds a bit too close to home for me, personally.

When I started looking at the idea of working with a Christmas song this year, I knew this one was the one. I know that it sounds pleasant (like almost every other Christmas song), because a lot of the hymns from way back when were… (They often reused and borrowed music from other stuff, but never-mind that for now.) But there’s a lot of unseen depth to this one. Here are the lyrics:

Verse 1. 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.

Verse 2. 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.

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