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Advent Thoughts: An Advent Hymn

Advent is a season where we look back, consider how it must have been for the people of God as they waited for the promised salvation of God, not knowing what to expect. At the same time, we celebrate by looking back to the child who was born, the one who came as the Light in a world of darkness and brought redemption and freedom and victory to his people. And at the same time, Advent is also a season of looking ahead with great expectation, and preparing ourselves to meet Jesus at his Second Coming. Here is a hymn from an anonymous Greek original which captures well our eager expectation for Christ’s return.

“The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns”

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills,
And life to joy awakes.

Not as of old a little child
To bear, and fight, and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun
That lights the morning sky.

O brighter than the rising morn
When He, victorious, rose,
And left the lonesome place of death,
Despite the rage of foes.

O brighter than that glorious morn
Shall this fair morning be,
When Christ, our King, in beauty comes,
And we His face shall see.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And earth’s dark night is past;
O haste the rising of that morn,
The day that aye shall last.

And let the endless bliss begin,
By weary saints foretold,
When right shall triumph over wrong,
And truth shall be extolled.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light and beauty brings:
Hail, Christ the Lord! Thy people pray,
Come quickly, King of kings.

Unknown au­thor; trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by John Brownlie in Hymns of the Russ­ian Church, 1907