Advent Devotional

December 10: Christ Is Coming

Today, we look at the third track of our new Advent/Christmas album, which is an old hymn that has been re-worked with a modern melody. It is a song that joins in the common Advent refrain: “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Long-Awaited / You Arrived by Providence

Christ is coming! Let creation
From her groans and travail cease
Let the glorious proclamation
Hope restore and faith increase
Christ is coming! Christ is coming!
Come, thou blessed Prince of Peace

Earth can now but tell the story
Of thy bitter cross and pain
She shall yet behold the glory
When thou comest back to reign
Christ is coming! Christ is coming!
Let each heart repeat the strain

With the blessed hope before us
Let no harp remain unstrung
Let the mighty advent chorus
Onward roll from tongue to tongue
Christ is coming! Christ is coming!
Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come
-Lyrics: John R. MacDuff; Melody: Jared Strock; Arrangement: Jordan Hurst & Brian Phillips

Scripture Reading

ISAIAH 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Devotional: Graeme Donaldson

When I was a kid there was a movie that I would watch over and over. It was the old Errol Flynn Robin Hood from 1938. In it there is a scene where Robin and his band of merry men rob and capture a wealthy traveler and his retinue on the road. By now it has been established that Robin Hood is doing his merry thieving in order to subvert the cruel reign of Prince John, and they take hold of this traveler, promising him that he will not be harmed, but that he will be relieved of his silver and possessions. When the traveler asks why they are doing this, Robin exclaims that he is a true servant of King Richard, the king in exile, and they are trying to do right in a crumbling kingdom waiting for Richard to come home and restore peace and order. Satisfied with this answer the traveler removes his robe showing the royal armor with the Three Lions of England revealing himself to be King Richard returned. At that point the tenor of the movie changes and Robin Hood gives up his thieving ways and joins Richard to rid the kingdom of wicked Prince John. That scene had a profound effect on me as a boy, as I always remember Robin’s change from rascal to servant as he bends the knee to his long-expected king. 

This expected change is at the heart of this hymn Christ is Coming. In it, we hear that the Earth herself is waiting for the king to return, burdened under the weight of the wicked rule of an illegitimate authority. Earth has long forgotten the story of Eden and is now only accustomed to a story of travail and groaning. In fact, the story of the cross at first appears to be another sad chapter in the story of the strong subjugating the weak and the righteous man ground under the wheel of power. Our hymnist says that “Earth can now but tell [this] story…” and that this is our fate. But, Christ is coming. 

To quote C.S. Lewis on this theme, “Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” Christmas is the time when the King has returned, and that the story is not going to end in the familiar way that the Earth has been telling. Earth “shall yet behold the glory,” and we will be ruled by the Prince of Peace.

 The merriment of the Christmas season is merriment done on purpose, regardless of the groaning and travails of the year. We don’t give gifts and eat and drink during the dark days of the year because all is right. We, like Robin Hood, make merry because the King is on the move. “Let the glorious proclamation hope restore and faith increase!”

Coloring Sheet: Ashley Haug

Members in our church have created coloring pages, which are designed for all ages and artistic ability, as a way to help you further engage with the lyrics and music. We invite you to slow down and meditate on the beauty and depth of this Advent season.

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[ Previous Devotionals ]

Dec. 8, Dec. 3Dec. 1