King, Messiah, long expected,
Thou art come unto Thine own!
Promised seed of the elected,
Heir foretold of David’s throne!
Long for Thee they watched and hearkened—
King and patriarch, priest and seer;
Faith waxed cold, and hope was darkened;
When men looked not—Thou wert here.
In the time and place appointed,
When the ordered years had sped,
Came the Prince, the true Anointed,
To His throne, the manger bed:
There the infant King, fulfilling,
All things for His people’s sake,
Learned today obedience willing,
Deigned the covenant seal to take.
Surely in that hour of wonder,
Faithful Abraham in his rest,
Saw the shadows part asunder,
Saw Thy dawning, and was blest!
Surely then the gracious vision
Through Thine unseen kingdoms thrilled;
And in Jesu’s circumcision
Ages saw their hope fulfilled!
Father of the new creation!
Prophet of the latter time!
Leader of the ransomed nation
To the better Canaan’s clime!
Though, from Gentile stock arising,
Alien branches once were we,
Thou hast said, in our baptizing,
We are circumcised in Thee.
So this day with new thanksgiving
Shall Thy faithful seed draw near;
So, ’mid prayers for holier living,
Praise shall deck our opening year;
Praise, because our feast day sees us
Built on Thee, the Cornerstone;
And the mighty name of Jesus
Binds today the world in one.