Dianne Hall reflects that we should experience the light that has come into the world with working with people of different backgrounds and cultures and that we should keep this light through our actions.
“‘Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’” — John 12:35-36, NRSV
One of the great benefits I have enjoyed while working with Habitat for Humanity is to lead several Global Village work teams. During my travels in the U.S. and other countries, it has been very moving to see how Habitat works in the world with no regard to race or religion. Habitat is open to all, to bring hope and homes to those who need decent shelter. We see a similar notion in John 12:32, where the Greeks are representing a growing understanding of the universal nature of God’s revelation. Jesus’ salvation is intended for the whole world, not just a few.
In John 12:35-36, we are urged to walk in the light, so that in the midst of the darkness, we can find a way to the light. During the 1990 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Tijuana, Mexico, I saw that light coming out of the dark hills above the campground. It was near the end of the week, and we were celebrating with the homeowners the joys and hopes that would come with their new homes. Many folks lived in makeshift cardboard boxes all along the hillside next to the work site. In the midst of our celebration, we saw one single light near the top of the mountain, then another, and another until a long, single line of lights cascaded upon us. Homeowner representatives were expressing their gratitude for the hope these new homes brought them, and they were using light. Out of their darkness came light, and God’s love and compassion surrounded all of us that night.
On this Holy Tuesday, and each day that we work together with our brothers and sisters of different cultures and languages to build homes, we come to experience the true light that has come into the world, the light that shines in the darkness and makes all things new. May this light always shine in our hearts and through our actions.
Gracious God, we pray that all that we do will bring a sense of hope into the lives of those we meet and be a manifestation of the light of Your love for Your children. Amen.
1. How big is your world? Does it include people of every race and tongue and nation?
2. How have you seen the love of God shared in your world?
3. What would it look like for the light of the world to be known to you, through you, in your life, in your household, in your community, in your actions?
By Dianne Hall, chaplain for Habitat for Humanity International.
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