What are you longing for this Advent?
I must confess that the time of Advent, the weeks leading up until Christmas, are often more about ticking off lists for me, doing what has to be done (or what feels like it has to be done) rather than thinking about what I long to see happen in the world.
And yet, ‘adventus’, the Latin word, literally meaning ‘coming’. Advent is a season where Christians symbolically await Jesus’ birth – a focused time of waiting and expectation, that creates space for us to anticipate and receive again the announcement of God with us.
This year we have not prepared a series of Advent readings (it felt like one more thing to do!) but we are encouraging you to access the daily Advent readings prepared by Common Grace. These feature the wisdom and teaching of a diverse range of contributors from right across the breadth of the Christian church in our nation.
You can access them by going online here https://www.commongrace.org.au/advent_we_are_longing and registering for the daily devotional. Or, if you don’t have access to a computer, we can also print them for you – although they will be a few days behind the date!
According to Common Grace: “Advent calls us to a time of waiting and longing together as the body of Christ. Whilst we celebrate the coming of Jesus, we also long for justice and healing which springs from the Kingdom of God.
Advent is a time of tension: being present with the pain of injustice, whilst also holding and celebrating the victory and hope of Jesus Christ, God with us.
Together we long not only for the final coming of Jesus, but also to see justice worked out in our world. We acknowledge frustration and lament for an absence of justice and fears about the future. As the body of Christ, we connect with his creation in longing for wholeness and healing. Mingled in and with our longing is the joy and hope of Jesus. We have not been left alone: our Saviour comes.”
Let’s take time this Advent to long for what God promises to bring into our lives and into our world. Let’s be bold enough to ask God to come close again – to feel with us the pain of our broken lives and our broken world. And in coming to us, being God present with us, may we also know again the transforming power of God’s healing presence and love.
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us;
let us find our rest in thee.