Wednesday, December 9, 2015

 {Come thou Long Expected Jesus} Christmas 2015

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. 

Entering into this advent season.  Preparing my heart for worship. I am finding so many of these familiar Christmas hymns,  some written hundreds of years ago,  expressing my heart now. 

Oh deliver us! 

Placing wreathes and lights,  cute little snowmen faces,  

smiling at all of the special touches the boys delight to add to our Christmas decor... 

But I can't deny the heaviness. 

I know it's true.  That Messiah - our Jesus, came.  He did come.  He delivered us.  This was a significant component in God's amazing rescue plan for us.  But....

Many days I am relating more with the expectation and hope for deliverance than the rejoicing and release of tension. 

Hark the herald angels sing,  "Glory to the newborn king
Peace on earth and mercy mild,  God and sinners reconciled"  
Joyful all ye nations rise,  Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim,  "Christ is born in Bethlehem"

But being set free from fears and sins...
Finding our rest...
Peace on earth?
Mild mercy.....   

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

I feel the "weary world" aspect. Error.  It kind of screams loud and clear. And that Thrill of hope? It's just a seed of faith right now. 
That expectation which all of these songs begin with - to be culminated in the rejoicing of this new born king Messiah - well, honestly it's the same expectation I find myself at now. Today. 

Come thou long expected Jesus.... Please come! 

Truly He taught us to love one another,  His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,  And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,  Let all within us praise His holy name

In a world of darkness we cling to the hope that the light has come.  Do you feel it with me? That darkness?  
- We look heavenward and step into the darkness with our light as bright as it can be.  We haven't another life giving choice but to be the light. To allow him to shine brightluy through our borkenness. 

In a world where reality is more frightening than fiction; where my youngest has nightmares because while we have been intentionally careful about what he watches, we have had the news on a few times in the last month - we gently explain to his quivering heart that we have this hope.... 

In a world where Christians fight against Christians and a me first stench permeates every corner - we choose humility, and that choice begins the slightest flicker of light.  Hope

What does a heart do when it feels as if it is grasping as straws to find that rejoicing? 

Hope.   But in what? I see some grasping for hope in their country.  When this oh-so-favored country returns to it's oh-so-perfect values - then, THEN we will be delivered. 
And so there is grasping for that ever elusive hope
 - in laws, 
Being right. 

And He delivered us from that. 

He is our hope.

He is our King. He is our answer. He is our light in the dark. 

"And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.    Hebrews 11:16

Before the beginning of what we know of as time,  He had a plan for us.  Fully knowing what we would choose;  the prostitution of our hearts,  the idolatry of the life He gave us, our hands swinging the hammer....

He delighted in us.  Wanted us.  Loved us.  Was born for us.  Died for us. 

And He is not done!  

A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

See,  that will happen again.  Hope.   Let your weary soul hope. 

Come thou Long Expected Jesus.... 

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