I want to share with you a favorite hymn of mine. This hymn is specifically dear to my heart during this time of year. Many of you probably know it already. Please read the words and allow them to slow you and speak to you. This is the truth of this Christmas season. Let all else fall by the wayside in this moment and focus on our dear Lord and Savior – all He is and all He has done, is doing, and will continue to do.
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.
My prayer for each of you who read this message is that you will await Jesus’ coming with great longing, excitement, and expectancy. Stop and celebrate His birth; His first coming. Be amazed that the God of heaven lowered Himself to be born as a human, tiny and lowly and helpless and dirty, into poverty and humility, entering the world among “the least of these,” those who are so intrinsically precious to the heart of our God. Yes, He came to those who had nothing; to fulfill them and to be their everything. He was later pursued by those who had all the wealth of the world and more, who had nothing that they desired from a material standpoint, yet they crossed countries and spent years of their lives seeking this Promised One. Why? Because nothing compares to His worth and what He offers. These men had the riches and power and wisdom of the world and yet they were empty – empty until they found Him. Empty until they bowed in His presence and worshipped.
But don’t just celebrate His first coming. It doesn’t stop there. He is coming back. His work is not finished. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” My prayer is also that we would desire His second coming each day with all our beings. That we would long for His return as we look at the broken world around us. That we would recognize that we need Him as much now as humanity ever and always has. That rich and poor are lost and empty without Him. That each one of us would yearn for our Emmanuel, “God with us.”
He has come and He will come again. May this truth be your hope and peace this holiday season and always.
International Social Worker