The Songs of Longing

The baby born in a manger will return in all His glory as King of Kings.

Revelation 5:11-13

Throughout history, the church has seen Advent—the weeks leading up to Christmas—as a time to focus on a weary world’s wait for a Savior. We reflect on Christ’s first coming, when He arrived as a baby miraculously born to a virgin in Bethlehem. And we look toward His someday return as a conquering King, which is described vividly throughout the book of Revelation.

When we think of that final book of the Bible, we tend to focus on the descriptions of heaven and celestial beings, spiritual warfare, and pronouncements of God’s judgment. But laced throughout the book are songs of worship, which anchor us to the eternal reality that God reigns over all.

Meditating on these songs offers a powerful harmony to the carols we sing at this time of year. In Revelation 5, John writes, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13). These hymns of praise help us cultivate holy longing for the second coming of our King Jesus. And they give us a glimpse of His glory—glory of the One we are longing for.

Later this month, as the Bible in One Year reading plan takes you through the book of Revelation, consider taking some time to pray the words of these songs. Join the chorus of eternity as you lean into the wait that characterizes this season.