But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
In the 1700’s Charles Wesley penned the words of one of the more forgotten Christmas hymns of our time.
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.
Don’t remember it? Listen Here.
It is an often forgotten element of the Christmas story. Jesus was long expected. This passage from Luke is only a glimpse into the “long-expectedness” of Jesus.
What Shall We Expect?
2 Sam 7:12-13
A descendent of David shall establish
an everlasting kingdom
A God-child will be born and will reign
on David’s throne
He shall reign forevermore
David’s throne shall endure forever
The kingdom established will endure
Discipleship Challenge: Capture the fullness of Christmas by remembering that echoes of the coming King were heard for thousands of years before the moment when God became flesh:
Remind those you are discipling of the relationship of Jesus to Israel.
When telling “the Christmas story,” consider starting with some OT prophecies to set the stage for the expectation of Jesus.
Be intentional to include historic hymns of the faith in Christmas celebrations. They are peppered with gospel truths that are all too easily replaced by catchy modern Christmas songs.
Danny Hinton is the Director of Downline Little Rock. @DLLittleRock