Niall McConkey is the manager of Habitat ReStore Lisburn and has volunteered on many Habitat projects, both locally & globally. Read his reflection below.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
As I have helped lead Youth Build groups to Romania, I have been struck by the enthusiasm of our youth builders to make a difference in the world. Their youthful optimism that they can make our world a better place where everyone has a decent place to live reminds me not to see our global problems, but families getting their own home one family at a time through the work of Habitat for Humanity.
As we come to Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a baby in a manger in Bethlehem. Looking at this scene who would ever have thought that this baby would teach us about how God wants us to live our lives. How God wants us to serve and make a difference in His world, how we are to love each other, even our enemies. How God wants us to help those who have the least and suffer the most and how this baby would ultimately suffer and die on the cross to save us from our sins and guaranteeing our place in heaven for eternity.
As we get older, we can lose our enthusiasm to make a difference, lose sight of what can be achieved and become less effective in being salt and light in this dark world. The pandemic this year has been such a challenge causing us to focus more on ourselves and just getting through. This Christmas let us renew our focus and as we come to a new year be determined to make a difference and help a family enjoy their new home.
Dear God forgive us for allowing ourselves to become self-centred and selfish, losing sight of Your glory and taking for granted Your blessings. Challenge us this Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Your son to become a brighter light and more seasoned salt in Your world. We lift Habitat for Humanity up in prayer and ask for wisdom and protection as they continue to serve through this pandemic. Amen.