56

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The double nature of Advent is reflected in this text, in which we remember Christ's first coming even while praying for his return. Stanzas 1 and 2 recall Advent prophecies in the Old Testament; stanza 3 speaks of Christ's birth and kingdom, and stanza 4 is a prayer for Christ's rule in our hearts.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The phrase “long-expected” and “the Savior promised long” are descriptors of Jesus and are familiar terms to many Christians. These words speak of generations who waited while centuries passed. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 23 also uses such terminology in calling him the “long-awaited Messiah.” And Belgic Confession, Article 18 professes that this all happened only “at the time appointed.”

Call to Worship

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
As we enter this season of Advent,
may the love of God the Father, and the grace of Jesus the Son,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be and abide with us all.
Amen!
[Reformed Worship 57:4]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Confession

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in;
be born in us today.
[“O Little Town of Bethlehem” Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), PD ]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

Faithful God, we wait for you to come.
We know that you will
because you already have
and because you promised to return.
While we wait, send your Spirit
so that we may grow in grace.
Prepare us for your coming, Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus, the long-expected Savior, was born to set us free.
He releases us from our fears and sins
and helps us find our rest in him.
Jesus delivers us from the way of sin and death.
Yet he remains the desire of people in every nation,
and he will direct us into the ways of his kingdom.
And so, with hopeful hearts, we call to him:
Come now, long-expected Jesus,
come again to rule in our hearts. Amen.
—inspired by Charles Wesley (1744)
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Our only hope is Jesus Christ.
After we refused to live in the image of God,
he was born of the virgin Mary,
sharing our genes and our instincts,
entering our culture, speaking our language,
fulfilling the law of God.
Being united to Christ’s humanity,
we know ourselves when we rest in him.
Come, Lord Jesus:
We are open to your Spirit.
We await your full presence.
Our world finds rest in you alone.
Our Song of Hope, st. 3, closing prayer
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
let us strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying: Come, Lord Jesus!
—from A Brief Statement of Faith
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

The Lord is glorious and exalted.
Lord, shine in our hearts and lives.
God’s people are often in distress and sorrow.
Lord, show your might and deliver us from evil.
We sometimes do not feel the Lord’s presence.
O Lord, let your face again shine on us.
The Lord was the shepherd of his people Israel.
Lord, lead us in our way and guide us in our walk.
In this Advent season we stand on tiptoe—
Immanuel, invade our lives. Amen.
—based on Psalm 80:1-7
[Reformed Worship 9:23]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Covenant God,
you heard your people yearning for a Savior.
Thank you for sending your Son so long ago.
We now rehearse your promise
that Christ will come again,
that death and suffering will end
and every tear will be wiped away.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
As you fulfilled Israel’s hopes long ago,
so we long for all these promises to be fulfilled. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Tune Information

Name
STUTTGART
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
8.7.8.7

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

The text will be familiar to most adults and is a good one to teach our children from memory. Stanzas 1 and 3 would be especially appropriate for family memorization.
 
Another good solution would be to invite someone in the congregation who plays a bass instrument (cello, bassoon, trombone, etc.) to join the organ for this prelude. The bass instrument would play the melody line, accompanied by the organist playing only on manuals.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 17)
— Davis Folkerts

This quintessential Advent text expresses both the historic context of Jesus as the fulfillment of Messianic prophesies (“Israel’s strength and consolation”) and the present context of Jesus as the Savior who is born in our hearts (“from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee”). Here the text is set to the regal STUTTGART. This and the alternate tune, HYFRYDOL bring out the triumphant overtones of the text. For a more yearning, “now not yet” take on this text, sing it to the tune BEACHSPRING.
— Greg Scheer

Hymn Story/Background

— Bert Polman

Author Information

— Bert Polman

Composer Information

— Bert Polman

— Laura de Jong

General Settings
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