On the end of Eternity ... and streams in the wasteland

Bec Abbott shares about the end of an era

I’ve been wandering in the wilderness for the past two months since the decision to close Eternity News was made.

I felt God’s undeniable call to the position of editor of Eternity 20 months ago. And I’ve poured all the energy, vision, time and effort available into trying to make a success of Eternity’s new editorial direction: to encourage, equip and inspire Christians in their faith and outreach.

I was blessed to have a magnificently competent and creative team alongside me – Anne Lim (deputy editor), Eliot Kern (content producer), Aziza Green (content producer) and Jason Biggins (brand manager). Together, we were experiencing a real sense of forward motion, cohesion and drive. We had plans in production and excitement about the future.

Admittedly, Eternity‘s new direction was a tough sell: Christian content without the “juicy” news stories to buoy the Facebook algorithm and readership. And we were asking readers to choose faith-based articles over the smorgasbord of tempting nuggets constantly dropping into social feeds and inboxes. I likened this task to “helping Christians eat their vegetables instead of snacking on junk food.”

But, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is a season for everything. And Eternity’s era is coming to an end, leaving the task of feeding believers’ souls through media to other Christian media outlets. (Side note to you, dear reader: please do support other Christian media – by reading and donating – with the same generous loyalty you have shown to Eternity. This Christianity Today article about a “journalism tithe” is timely, especially if we want to ensure the survival of Australian Christian media outlets.)

Nothing is wasted, for we know that our “labour in the Lord is not in vain”.

Now, as we face our final weeks at Eternity News, I’m spent. Parched and depleted – mentally and physically. Stumbling through the wasteland of a dream disintegrating. And yet, even in this barrenness, I still feel the guiding hand of God. This is not surprising, of course, because our God is a desert Saviour.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43: 19)

Even now, the Lord is generating, breathing life into dry bones. Members of the Eternity team are moving on to exciting new chapters. After almost six years at Eternity News and 25 years in journalism, I’m stepping out of the industry, at least for a while, to teach Christ-centred movement and meditation classes. I’m following another God-sized call to draw women into local churches and towards their Saviour through these classes. (If you’d like to know more, please email me at [email protected]).

While the loss of Eternity News sits heavy in my core, my spirit is lightened by the abundant fruitfulness of God’s kingdom. This assures me that everything shared and achieved by Eternity News in its 15 years – since the time it was founded by John Sandeman until our final article is published this coming Easter Sunday – has been and will be used by God for his purposes. Nothing is wasted, for we know that our “labour in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

I pray that you have been encouraged, equipped and inspired by our articles, videos, podcasts, magazines, newsletters and social posts – whether you have been following Eternity News for a long time or have just recently stumbled upon our content. I hope that the Lord uses the words we have published to enrich your relationship with Jesus and with those around you.

Your support has enabled Eternity News to thrive for almost 15 years, and we are so grateful for you.

Thank you, especially to our loyal readers, for taking the time to read our content, to engage with and comment on our social posts, and for making financial donations. Your support has enabled Eternity News to thrive for almost 15 years, and we are so grateful for you.

Thank you also to the hundreds of gifted content producers who have written articles and made podcasts for Eternity over the years. Your contributions have been invaluable and have given our media platform a uniquely interdenominational, global perspective. A special thanks to Naomi Reed for her fabulous Faith Stories series, through which she has recorded the testimonies of 300 people. It’s so heartening to see the continued popularity of these stories and the Bible verses that have impacted people’s lives in exhilarating ways. (Stay tuned for a Faith Stories book, which Naomi is currently writing and which will be released by Acorn Press in July).

My gratitude and love go out to all those who have served as staff members of Eternity – past and present – for “feeding the hungry media beast” so faithfully and purposefully. I wish to recognise the support of Simon Smart, who took on oversight of Eternity as head of media at Bible Society, in addition to his busy role as Executive Director of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX). I would also like to thank our dedicated and passionate advertising team at Wild Hive, and those organisations and individuals who have advertised with Eternity. Thank you for valuing our media platform, magazines and (in the old days) newspapers enough to invest your hard-earned dollars with us.

To Bible Society Australia, which has been the home of Eternity News since 2011, thank you for enabling Eternity to be part of the mission to “impact and influence Australia and the world by opening the Bible to all people everywhere by all means possible”.

And now “to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

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