Rev Katherine Rainger reflects on the ancient and contemporary desire for peace.
In December 2019, we invited 25 Christians to share their reflections on 'We are Longing'.
Common Grace Supporter Janet shares with us why signed up to our Advent Series:
"My favourite thing about Christmas has become these advent series. They set my heart on the track of love at a time when emotions can run high, family dynamics may be strained and the whole corporate Christmas message screams at you. So grateful for this. Thank you!"
Dr Shane Clifton takes a sobering look at recent natural crises, and like the prophet Isaiah, longs for green shoots of new life to come from what seems dead and hopeless.
Rev Dr Jill Firth is longing for a new city, a new song and a new king.
In an anxious and uncertain world, where God’s promises may not seem evident, Rev Megan Powell du Toit considers how true longing always spills into action.
Nathan Campbell explores how Israel’s longing for God to dwell with them was fulfilled in Jesus. It is his presence with us that shapes our longings for the future.
Andy Mitchell examines the inequality and injustice that permeates our society as we long for the reconciliation, healing and joy envisioned in Isaiah 35.
"A new kingdom is being established and during the times we feel weak in the building and tired in the waiting, God endures.” Steff Fenton reflects on the hopeful announcement of Isaiah 40.
Dr Byron Smith reflects on the last chapter of the last book of the Hebrew prophets with its yearning for God’s arrival.
Alison and Jasmin Cox on their experience of clinging to God’s promise when life is turned upside down.
Elliot Keane invites us to learn to live with our longing and let hope come forth.
As we wait and long for something new, Rev Dr Martin Sutherland reflects on the mercies of God in which we hope and rejoice.
Brooke Prentis reflects on generations past, present and future, and the longing for Aboriginal justice in the midst of The Struggle.
Anna McGahan reflects on the longings of Mary and Elizabeth.
Claire Harvey Dawson reflects on the nature of power and where it sits in today’s world.
As we sit in a place of longing, Emma Pittman reminds us that amongst the anguish there is joy and hope.
Action and longing go hand in hand. Jessica Morthorpe reflects on the hope of climate action.
Sam Chan reflects on the intimate relationship of love which God offers in response to our longing.
In the wake of November’s ferocious bushfires, Jonathan Cornford is longing for healing and renewal.
Chris Morphew reflects on the profound lesson of trust that we learn from Mary and Joseph.
Melissa Lipsett reminds us that in a world of turmoil and conflict, peace is given to even the smelliest and least attractive members creation.
“Jesus is usually not the kind of salvation we are looking for.” Tara Conradt reflects on the unexpected twist in the Good News story.
There is profound worship as we wait in this in-between space, where lament and hope exist side by side.
Helen Lockwood reflects on the baby who draws all people together.
Naomi Wolfe invites us to listen in times of challenge, expectation and opportunity.
In the heartbreaking mix of miracle and tragedy, God is with us. Jackie Stoneman reminds us of God’s faithfulness as we long for justice.
We Are Longing
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.
There is great power in longing. Acknowledging injustice provides an opportunity for healing. We long for God to be with us and bring hope. We long for an alternate story. In the coming of Jesus, we experience God truly with us. Jesus joins us in our lament, honoring the pain of his body the church and creation, whilst weaving for us a story of hope and healing.
Taken from the Latin word adventus which literally means “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.
The season of Advent is an opportunity for us to remember Christ coming amongst us. In doing so, he invites us to move beyond the present and experience the heart of God’s love for all people, and his redemptive plan to lift up the lowly by the giving of himself.
This year, to mark Advent in the contemporary context, we are preparing daily devotional emails for our Common Grace community. As usual, they will feature the wisdom and teaching of a diverse range of contributors from right across the breadth of the Christian church in our nation.
Our prayer is that this Advent devotional will invite Australian Christians to be present in observing and remembering all that God has done in Jesus, so that our faith is nurtured, our love is stimulated and our hope is energised.
Throughout December, we heard daily reflections from these incredible contributors:
- Rev Katherine Rainger Honorary Assistant Priest, Holy Covenant Anglican Church, Canberra
- Rev Megan Powell du Toit Publishing Manager at Australian College of Theology
- Andy Mitchell Associate Pastor, Beaumaris-Mordialloc Baptist Church
- Steff Fenton Co-chair, Equal Voices Sydney
- Elliot Keane Lead Pastor, Richmond Baptist
- Anna McGahan Actress
- Melissa LipsettChief Operating Officer at Bible Society Australia
- Jonathan Cornford Manna Gum Bendigo
- Martin Sutherland Dean and CEO, Australian College of Theology
- Shane Clifton Theologian and ethicist.
We are Longing was an Advent Series written by a diverse group from across the breadth and depth of the Christian church. Over the 25 days you we heard from a variety of Christian writers all personally reflecting on Advent texts through the theme We are Longing. This series highlighted the diversity of followers of Jesus in these lands now called Australia. Ultimately we are longing for ‘God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven’, and we believe in the beauty of listening to one another and uniting for the common good, finding common ground and sharing in common grace. These voices may not agree with one other (or with you), but they are each an expression of longing for the God who draws near to us in Jesus.