In good Wesleyan tradition, we want to take time and reflect during this time of Advent on the first, as well as the second, coming of Jesus Christ. Many Methodists are quite familiar with the teachings of John Wesley, but not so much with the extensive contributions of his brother, Charles, who wrote over 6,000! hymns during his lifetime (1707 – 1788).
There aren’t many Advent hymns in general compared to dozens of Christmas songs and carols, but thanks to Charles there are actually quite a few with lots of food for thought:
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.
These words are a reminder that Jesus was the hope of ALL THE EARTH, of every nation, and the joy of every longing heart. Advent is the season to embrace the thought of inclusion – of everyone in every country.
Inspired by this podcast with our own Joe Iovino and Paul Chilcote, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/get-your-spirit-in-shape-singing-our-faith-at-christmas
Advent is here – LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!
Christmas is coming…soon.