This Advent, Habitat Patron Rev. Harold Good is encouraging us to 'wake up' and see the true meaning of Christmas. Read his full reflection below.
We all remember the excitement of waking up on Christmas Morning !
And when we grew up we re-lived that excitement through our own children or the children in our family circles - though secretly we were hoping they would sleep on for another hour or so ! But who would want to deny them that moment of awesome wonder that is unique to Christmas morning!
When I was a young minister my first appointment was to the village of Bessbrook where I discovered that Christmas Day began at 6 am with joyful carol singing across the square, and past the neat rows of mill workers pretty cottages. This was a time-honoured tradition led by the Methodist community but joined by warmly-wrapped villagers from other churches. I particularly remember the morning of the whitest of white Christmases as we trudged through the deep snow which seemed to make our voices sound even more crisp and clear than usual!
As the bedroom lights switched on and faces appeared at the windows, nobody seemed to mind being wakened so early! On the contrary, villagers told us how wonderful it was to be wakened up to Christmas.
‘Waking up’ to Christmas!
There must be more to this than the time our children or the carol singers get us out of bed ! What a difference it would make if our largely indifferent and dismissive world were to ‘wake up’ to the awesome truth of a God who so loved this broken world that he came to “dwell among us, full of grace and truth”. And those of us who really do believe and speak and sing this wondrous story must constantly ‘wake up’ to what is demanded of us if we are to be imaginative, as well as faithful, in our sharing of the “love which came down at Christmas”. Just imagine what it will be like for our Habitat families waking up for their very first Christmas in a home of their own!