Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending

The season of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, is a season in which we not only recall the birth of Jesus and the events leading up to his birth, but also a time in which we reflect on our present and future, on Christ’s return in our lives here and now, and on Christ’s eternal reign yet to come. We ponder, when will the Kingdom of God come on earth, as Christ foretold it? Though some groups of Christians may constantly be concerned with trying to foretell this date, the truth is, nobody knows! What we can do is rejoice in the knowledge that Christ’s eventual return will come, and God’s kingdom of endless justice and mercy will reign. With this season of Advent, let us ponder these questions that cause us to look inward and ask how we can be a part of bringing God’s Kingdom on earth in the here and now. As Jesus taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Yea, amen! let all adore thee, high on thine eternal throne; Savior, take the power and glory; claim the kingdom for thine own: Oh, come quickly! Oh, come quickly! Oh, come quickly! Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
robed in dreadful majesty;
those who set at nought and sold him,
pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall the true Messiah see.

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory;
claim the kingdom for thine own:
Oh, come quickly! Oh, come quickly! Oh, come quickly!
Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!

Words: John Cennick (1718-1755), 1752;
Tune: Helmsley (Martin Madan, 1726-1790)

–From the album Advent Promise, by the Wells Cathedral Choir

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