I have spent the last weekend getting out the Christmas lights as our little street in Hahndorf prepares for a shared display for the enjoyment of the wider community. As we go deeper into November and the beginning of Advent, the focus upon Christmas becomes to sharpen, albeit with differing lens depending on the purpose and meaning that people place and find in the Christmas story.
I have always found Advent a particularly special time of reflection and contemplation, and there are many resources to assist this practice.
Recently, I stumbled upon an Australian website “Common Grace”, which is operated by a small team and is led by the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leaders. I share with you, the introduction to the Advent devotional resources they provide, and the link to these for those who may wish to explore further:
“Our prayer is that the Common Grace Advent devotional series will invite Australian Christians to be present to Jesus, to each other, and to the world around us during the Advent season, so that our faith is nurtured, our love is stimulated and our hope is energised.
It is in this moment of remembering Christ’s birth we see the depth of God’s great love for all Creation and the good breaking in – a new covenant beginning, a new foundation laid and the renewal of right relationship between God and all creation.
The radically generous gift of God’s only son Jesus is good news. It is good news to the poor, the imprisoned and the oppressed, to the marginalised and those facing injustice. It is good news to all creation.
Jesus, who spoke out against injustices, welcomed the stranger, protected the widow and healed the sick. He pointed to the hope and ‘good’ God intends for the world in the reconciliation of all things (Col 1:20), for the flourishing and wholeness of all creation. And gave himself to see the good begin to break into the world today.
As followers of Jesus we are called to be part of God’s new creation now. To be God’s hands and feet as we seek justice and love mercy (Mic 6:8). Together praying ‘your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ to see, to taste, and to hunger for the good to break through into this world.
Empowered by the Spirit to be salt and light (Mt 5:13-14) we seek to live out the good today. Our love in action reveals the hope and joy in the gift of Jesus’ birth and the deep, radical, gracious love of God that transforms hearts and communities, turning our world upside down.”