“Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” “Freedom is Coming”: Hymns for First Sunday of Advent


 Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, and that refreshes the spirit. We also sing well-known, new hymns and “gospel and folk songs” that lift us to Heaven. We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope. Our hymns this First Sunday of Advent – the Fourth Sunday before Christmas – resonate with the theme of hope as we prepare for the Messiah’s coming and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Our gospel music is a cry for freedom and justice.

“Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” 

“Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” was written in 1774 by Charles Wesley as an Advent hymn to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus and prepare for the Second Coming. The orphans’ situation in the areas around him and the great class divide in Britain inspired Him to write this hymn. His texts allude to Scripture passages: “Born Your people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, Now Your gracious kingdom bring.” Wesley’s hymn recalls Isaiah’s words of a sin-weary and captive Israel longing for freedom, reminding us that God’s promised redemption is the “hope of all the earth.” The hymn also refers to Mark, chapter 13, which assures believers that Christ will come again, inspiring us to continue to hope for that promise. To watch a Youtube video of this hymn, click here.

“Freedom is Coming”

“Freedom is Coming” is a South African protest song that has been performed by choirs around the world. The original version was a gospel song, “Jesus Is Coming.” The words were changed in South Africa by people wanting to end apartheid. “Freedom is coming (3x) oh yes, I know (repeat).” “Justice is coming (3x) oh yes I know (repeat).” “Freedom is coming” helps raise awareness of the political context, and the stanza “Jesus is Coming” brings hope with the expectation of Jesus’ birth. This song carries with it a significant promise that should always  be fulfilled — “Oh, yes, I know!” However, some feel that the freedom it promises is never fully realized, considering the injustice that people continue to suffer worldwide. Nevertheless, just singing it brings a feeling of liberty. It has also inspired the song “Freedom is Coming Tomorrow” in the passionate South African musical, “SARAFINA” first performed in Johannesburg in 1987. School choirs have also sung “Freedom is Coming” as a tribute to Nelson Mandela. To watch a Youtube video of this hymn, click here.

Click here to listen to the PUMC worship service, hear the beautiful music, the children’s time, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.

Images Source: Google Images

Written by Isabella Dougan


Advent Sunday, November 29, 2020

“All Things New: Celebrating God’s Promises” will be the theme for Princeton United Methodist Church on Advent Sunday, November 29, during our 10:00 am worship service. Throughout December, our musicians and singers of all ages – and the congregation – will share the opportunity of setting Advent to music. As we celebrate Advent with the whole family, we will also discover meaningful and fun ways to stay focused on Jesus this season. Do you know what each verse of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” means? Sing-a-long! And the Christmas Carol, “Silent Night,” what is it telling you?

Register soon for our intergenerational Virtual Advent Night set for Sunday, December 6 at 4 pm. There will be crafts, family carols with Tom Shelton, and games. Then at 4:30, we’ll sing carols with Karen Zumbrunn, including the always popular “Twelve Days of Christmas” and “Silent Night.” To register, go to       https://princetonumc.breezechms.com/form/2e225e or princetonumc.org.

Households (of any age!) who register for the crafts portion of the event will receive an “Advent in a Box” kit on November 22. The kits will include a variety of supplies to make Advent a meaningful time in your home. Highlights include the book “Faithful Families for Advent and Christmas” by Traci Smith, a make your Advent wreath, a candy cane ornament craft, materials to create an Advent Kindness Tree, a luminaries craft, an Advent countdown paper chain, and more!

See pictures of Evangeline’s crafts for Advent Night on December 6.

 Advent Sunday is the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day and the start of the church’s liturgical year. This year, the Advent season begins on Sunday, November 29, and ends on Thursday, December 24. It is a season of hope and expectations as we prepare for the birth and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Four candles representing God’s beautiful gifts of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy are used at worship during the Advent season. We begin this journey together by lighting the first candle on this first day of Advent.