Monday, December 24, 2007

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus

One of the interesting things about marking advent is the two-fold nature of the wait: the already and the not yet. Advent marks the days until we celebrate Jesus' birthday, recounting the events 2000 years ago and Israel's long wait for the Messiah's arrival. But Advent also looks toward the return of Messiah, and we join ancient Israel in waiting for the fulfillment of God's promise and the fulfillment of our hopes in Him.

Jeremiah 33:14-16 (New International Version)
'The days are coming,' declares the Lord 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; He will do what is just and right in the land.

"In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.'

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.

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