Posted by: Titus Presler | December 1, 2011

God’s Longing: Meditation for Advent I Thursday

God’s Longing

We certainly long for God.  The psalmist captures our longing well: “As the deer longs for the water brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1).  Sometimes we feel we’re in a desert, with no God-water near.  Sometimes we drink deeply of God’s presence, and we’re blessed.

God also longs for us.  “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her,” God said about Israel through Hosea (Hosea 1:14).  In weeping over Jerusalem, Jesus longed for reconciliation with the city’s people (Luke 19:41)

God longing for us.  Doesn’t the very concept quicken our own longing for God?  Doesn’t it stir hope that our longing for God might be fulfilled?  Our longing for God is the mirror image of God’s longing for us.  God’s longing gives relational traction to the fact of God’s love for us.

God’s longing energized the Incarnation, the self-sending of God in Jesus, who enfleshed God’s identity in human experience.  What was God up to?  Being with us.  Being with us to heal, reconcile, transform.  Clearing our vision so that we might see once again God’s image within ourselves.

The ache of longing for God, and a fear that our longing won’t be fulfilled – these combine to keep us restless, hesitant to embrace the quiet in which the longing God can steal up and embrace us.

“And let each heart prepare a home where such a mighty guest may come,” we sing in the hymn “On Jordan’s Bank”.  An invitation in Advent is to make room for our own longing for God and for God’s longing for us.  We each have our own places and times: early morning or in the evening; in solitude or with others; in a private space, in church, out in nature.

Wherever and whenever, the invitation is one we all receive: To make room for the longing, ours and God’s.

This meditation is excerpted from Titus Presler’s “Alert for Signs: Seeing and Praying in Advent (Forward Movement Publications).



  1. Thanks, Jonathan. Titus

  2. Very true that “Sometimes we feel we’re in a desert, with no God-water near. Sometimes we drink deeply of God’s presence, and we’re blessed”.

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