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Wesleys Take the Web: Advent Anthem


In this installment of our modern animated series which features the brothers who founded Methodism, John Wesley tells his brother Charles that the “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” Christmas carol he is writing will never catch on. (Spoiler alert: More than 250 years later, the hymn is an Advent staple in United Methodist churches.)

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Charles Wesley: Hey brother! I’ve been working on something. What do you think?

(Singing dramatically) Come, thou long-expected Jesus…

John Wesley: You wrote a Christmas carol Charles?

Charles: No John, an “Advent anthem”! I’m hoping it’s going to catch on…

John: It won’t.

Charles: Oh it will. It’s a prayer about waiting for Jesus to come—in the past, in the future, and into our lives right now. It’s quite clever—if I do say so myself.

John: I thought we talked about this. You can’t keep writing songs with 100 verses like “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.” Nobody can stick with them!

Charles: First, “Tongues” only has 18 verses. And my Advent anthem has 2. It’s 16 lines long, shorter than any sermon you’ll ever preach.

John: Hey!

Charles: And it’s good. Listen to this, “Born to set thy people free.” Our Jewish ancestors waited for the Messiah. We wait for Jesus to completely fill us. All of Creation waits. Whammo, Advent anthem!

John: I know what I’m waiting for, Charles… you to give up this “Advent anthem” thing. It’s not going to catch on.

Charles: Maybe not, but if it does, I’ll be here… waiting …for Christmas… for Figgie pudding…for presents… I still want a hula hoop...

The likenesses of John and Charles are used courtesy of the Rev. Charlie Baber, who created the comics. Learn more about his clever take on United Methodist history. 

These videos were produced as a 21st century follow up to the popular clip known as “Clayride: A Gallop Through United Methodist History.” Find out more about the making of “Clayride” from the artists who created that 1984 classic.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Fran Walsh, 615-742-5458.
This video was first posted on Dec. 19, 2018.