Advent celebrates the eternal coming of our God to us and to the world. But Advent is not only God's coming to us, it is our coming to God. When we pray, 'Come, Lord, come among us', it is not so much that we are asking God to descend from a height, more that we are opening our lives and hearts to the God who comes.
What we look for in God's coming, what we long for, is actually happening if we have eyes to see and a heart that is aware. Advent calls for our attention and our awareness; it calls on us to be alert, to awake out of sleep. One of the aims of this book is to help us to open our blinded eyes and see, to open our ears to God's call, and to open our hearts to his love.
Looking and Longing is a weekly course for groups, looking each week at characters from the Old and New Testaments. It covers not only the four weeks of Advent but also the Christmas season to Epiphany. As Advent rejoices in the God who comes, Christmas and Epiphany show that we can come to God. The coming of lowly shepherds and non-Jewish seekers in the wise men tells us that all who will may come. God comes to us; may we become aware of this and come to God.