The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Come Now Where We Least Expect You

Advent Hymn

Words: Marnie Barrell, copyright 1996
Many other Marie Barrell hymns can be found at Oremus
Both links open a new window at

Music: Auckland by Colin Gibson, copyright circa 1996
Michael by H. Howells
Meter: 87 87 337

1. Come now where we least expect you,
Christ our hope and longing, come.
Show us where we still reject you
in the world you made your home.
Look around!
Christ is found
far beyond our sacred ground.

2. Come where we have tried to own you
locked within the distant past,
where your church has scarcely known you,
where the least remain the last.
Enter still
where you will,
come to challenge and fulfill.

3. Christ-child, come in loving kindness;
come, great Judge whom angels praise!
heal us of our pride and blindness,
purge our hearts and change our ways.
God's own Word,
love outpoured,
come to us, O Christ our Lord

This hymn is reproduced here by the generous permission of the author, Marnie Barrell.  According to the author, you are welcome to use it, unaltered, and with proper acknowledgement.  If you wish to reproduce it further, please apply for permission by sending her an email.

Ms. Barrell is also the author of numerous other hymns. Steve Benner at Oremus has a great list. Her Christmas-tide hymns and carols on this site include:

Four of her Christmas hymns are published in the New Zealand hymnbook, Carol Our Christmas -- A Book of New Zealand Carols (The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust Inc,  PO Box 2011, Raumati Beach,  New Zealand,  1996; ISBN: 1869340582). It is published by the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, and also available through the Hymn Society of America. The book Carol Our Christmas is also available at OC Books and New Zealand Books. Also available are Alleluia Aotearoa: Hymns and Songs For All Churches (1993) and Faith Forever Singing (2000), both of which contain additional hymns by Marnie Barrell. "Aotearoa" is the Maori term which means "land of the long white cloud," which is now known as New Zealand.


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