This Advent, Habitat Patron Rev. John Dunlop is talking about the importance of a home, and the work that goes on everyday to fulfill Habitat's mission. Read his Advent reflection below:
Jesus said to his disciples that he was leaving them to go to prepare a place for them, a place with enough room for all of them.
Place is important; a place with a language and a culture; a place with a house, with a number on a street with a name; a place with a door which can be opened and closed; a place with neighbours; a place where we belong along with others; as Robert Frost wrote ““Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”.
Yet for many millions of people such a place does not exist.
Joseph and the pregnant Mary left home in Galilee, probably intending to return after necessary registration, only to find that safety demanded flight to a safe place. When the dreaded Herod was dead they returned to their home town in Nazareth.
At the end of his life, with one of his last words, Jesus commended his mother to the care of his beloved disciple John, who we read “from that time took her to live in his home”.
Habitat for Humanity has worked with many thousands of people all over the world to help them to have a home; a place with a door and an address and a place to eat and sleep and, maybe, raise a family.
At the end of a “Big Build” in Romania, I remember an elderly man closing and locking the door of his new home; for most of us a familiar thing to do; for him a new experience.
“God our Father we pause and give thanks for the houses we occupy. We pray that they may be homes, sacred places where your name is honoured; places of faith and love and encouragement. Amen.