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We wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own.” Titus 2:13-14

Lord Jesus, as I drink in these encouragement-giving words from the Apostle Paul, at least 15 different recordings of my favorite Advent hymn have been washing over me.

“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.” (Charles Wesley)

I join friends, resting in the good news of your first coming, but restless, ready, reaching for your second. Truly, Jesus, you are the only hope of all the earth, and one Day your glory will fill the entire earth as the waters cover the sea. “How long, Oh Lord?”

Though they don’t realize it, you are the Desire of every nation; and from every nation you are redeeming a Bride for yourself. In our most Gospel-sane moments, we know you, and only you, Jesus, are the Joy of our longing, vulnerable, triggerable, temptable hearts. No lover, currency, acclaim, accomplishment… nothing and no one but you are the Joy our heart craves.

“By Thine all sufficient merit (for we have none of our own), raise us to Thy glorious throne.” Until that Day, “rule in our hearts alone,” Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.

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