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Hilary Morrow sits on Habitat's Board of Directors, and has volunteered globally in El Salvador, Romania and Cambodia. Read her Advent reflection now.

Advent is a season of waiting and expectation, as we prepare the way to a meaningful Christmas.

In contrast to the busy commercial preparations for a consumer-driven Christmas, Advent focuses on the coming of our Lord and gives us a wonderful opportunity to bring Christ more fully into the centre of our lives as Christmas approaches.

I heard recently that Advent is really supposed to be a lot like Lent.  We are supposed to increase giving of ourselves, giving to charity, and prayer. After thought, I realised that I should be returning to a place of spiritual growth rather than of hasty celebration.

An obvious place for me to return to in my head is the Habitat trips I have had the great privilege of being on - El Salvador, Cambodia and Romania. To stand again in the building sites and remember the hope and joy in the eyes of the people we worked with and the families we helped to build for. I remember being humbled by their gratitude and feeling unworthy of it. Their readiness for fun and laughter and pleasure at the simple things of life in this place of abject poverty. Their patience, trust and readiness to wait. I learnt a lot from these wonderful people and it is good to take time, reflect and remember

When we use the four weeks preceding Christmas in this way, we will find that Advent takes on a profoundly new meaning in our lives.

Prayer

Dear Father, you are our hope in this world of Haves and Have Nots. This Advent, help us to slow down, listen to your voice, and focus on what is really important. We place our hope in you as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.

Amen

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