WEEK ONE | DAY TWO | HAGGAI 2:7
Written by Charles Wesley in 1744, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” captures the deep longing of ancient Israel, of Wesley’s era and of our own. It is a prayer imploring Jesus to come, to release us from our fears and sins, to bring rest, joy and freedom.
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.
Before becoming Frontier Fellowship’s first executive director, Harold Kurtz and his family lived among Southwest Ethiopia’s Dizi people. One day, the community asked Harold to share what he believed about God. Under the shade of a tree, and with a young boy’s translation help, Harold shared the Gospel. In the Dizi culture, an elder customarily responds to a message, ensuring that it has been understood. The designated elder on this day repeated back the Gospel message and paused before reflecting, “That is what we have always hoped God was like.”
Advent invites us to remember the longing, the waiting and the glorious arrival of our Savior. We know Jesus has come, but do we recognize He has released us from our fears and sins or do we cling to them? Do we find our rest in Jesus or are we looking elsewhere for satisfaction, fulfillment and rest? Do our hearts truly long for Him—the Savior who came, died, rose and now intercedes for us? For centuries, the Messiah was foretold and the world waited. Now we have the joy and privilege of knowing Christ and of sharing this Good News with others who still wait. Pray that least-reached people will have opportunities to hear about and embrace Jesus, the “Desire of every nation” and “Joy of every longing heart.”