Arthur and Eva are long time supporters of Habitat’s work; having travelled in support of our partnerships in India, Ethiopia and Romania as well as volunteering in our local programmes. Arthur and Eva are also members of our Voices for Habitat team representing Habitat at local events and speaking engagements. Read their Advent reflection below.
As we enter the Advent season our thoughts centre on the stories of the birth of Jesus and rightly so, but it is easy to get a little carried away in the warm glow of sentimentality and the feelings of good will to all men, proclaimed in Christmas cards. This is good enough as far as it goes, but the danger can be that our reflections stay in that comfortable space of the baby Jesus in a manger surrounded by adoring parents and wise men.
I have found that it is so easy to forget that the birth of Jesus heralded the beginning of God’s plan to radically shake up and disturb the religious, political and social ‘business as usual’ world of all the future generations. Regardless of which interpretation of scripture you favour, it is clear that Jesus was leading a revolution against the powers and authorities of his day. He befriended the poor and the marginalised, all the people that polite society as it were, looked down upon. He welcomed those despised and excluded from society and preached that the Kingdom of God/Heaven was at hand.
I believe that love, as exemplified by Jesus, is the foundation of that Kingdom that Jesus spoke of. There are many examples of God’s Kingdom/God’s reign in the modern world and one of the best examples is I believe, the wonderful work of Habitat for Humanity, at home and across many countries of our world. My wife Aoife and I were involved in a few Habitat projects in different countries, where we worked with beautiful people of different faiths. We saw their delight and gratitude as they got the keys for their houses. We were indeed privileged to be involved in that small but significant ingress of the Kingdom of God on earth.
“I used to believe that prayer changes things, now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.” Mother Teresa God of the Cosmos, may we as followers of Jesus deeply understand that you have already gifted us with all the necessary abilities that we need to be the disciples we are called to be. May we take time to listen for the divine guidance that is always available, and may we step out in faith to play our part, big or small, to help to bring your Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.