Among the many prophesies we find regarding the advent of the Messiah, this one from Isaiah 11:6 is one of my favorites because it fills me with wonder and hope. It is an amazing image of the world that God intended, and it inspired American artist Edward Hicks to create his "Peaceable Kingdom" paintings. We celebrate the vision of peace on earth that came to the shepherd when Jesus was born (Luke 2:14), and it is something we long for with the advent of Christ's return.
For those of us at Habitat for Humanity, when we hear the words "dwell" or "dwelling," it, of course, brings to mind our mission and our daily work. Creating partnerships to provide decent, affordable dwellings for all is the part we play in building the peaceful kingdom here and now. We bring together people from various backgrounds who are about as different as the wolf and the lamb. Together we experience the joy and wonder of working side by side with people who, without Habitat, might well never meet...We see the fruits of our labor in foundations being dug out, in homes taking shape and in keys being handed over - with smiles and hugs all around. We get to see glimpses of peace on earth, even if just for a moment.
In this time of Advent, let us, with renewed energy, bring the hope of justice to all through our ministry of decent and affordable housing. Let's build faith in the future by creating glorious places called home.