Over the past 25 days, we have walked through all the typical “Christmas passages” in God’s Word. It has been a true joy to be able to reflect on these great truths with you all each day.
The last of our passages is Luke 2:36-38. In these verses, the prophetess Anna recognizes Jesus as Messiah when Jesus was presented at the temple about 40 days into His life. Read these verses below:
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna had spent a lifetime looking, longing, and waiting for Jesus to come. Even though we are people who celebrate the first coming of Christ, like Anna, we are a people who are looking, longing, and waiting for Christ to come again. After all the presents are opened this Christmas day at our houses, and our hearts embrace the fact that Jesus came 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, may our hearts look forward to the fact that one day Jesus will come again!
Jesus Himself, before He went to the cross, promised His disciples that He would return to earth again. Since Jesus has not yet returned to the earth, we live today awaiting the second Advent of the Savior.
Because of that, the lyric to Charles Wesley’s great hymn, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” has double meaning for us. We look back to His first coming, as the child who was a King, while we look forward to His second coming, when He brings His kingdom and raises us to His glorious throne.
As you read the lyrics to this hymn today, be reminded of the fact that just as Jesus came once (in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago), He will also come again! Think of all the things in this world that are impacted by sin or cause us to fear. The second advent of Christ will put an end to that. Indeed, “Come Thou long expected Jesus!”
“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.”