Long, Long, Long Ago…
(As your family gathers around for Advent, it is good to ask or assign one member to light the candle, another to read the Scripture out loud, and a third to read the devotion. At the beginning of each new week, your family will need to read the new week’s introduction, as well as the devotion, for the first evening of that week.)
WEEK 1 INTRODUCTION
For this week, we will use one of the darker color candles. As we light the very first candle of the Advent Season, we remember that Jesus came into the world long ago as the Light of the World. We also remind ourselves that He is still the Light of our lives today, if we choose to receive the greatest gift any man will ever receive: Eternal Life. Long ago Jesus came into our dark world of sin. Today, He still lives at the right hand of the Father and in the hearts of all who will receive Him. He will one day come again in the full light of His glory— and darkness will be no more. Charles Wesley wrote this hymn, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, in 1744. As we read or sing the words, let us notice the things Christ came to do for humanity.
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.
He came to set us free!
He came to give us rest!
He came to bring us joy!
He came to deliver us!
He came to reign, rule, and rise up His people unto Himself!
People from all nations cry out to Him and Haggai 2:7 says, “The desire of all nations shall come!” We know that He has been faithful to come once already, and we believe He will be faithful to come again! May Christ reign in our hearts today as we celebrate His long-awaited arrival and as we await His promised return!