Reflections on the Orthodox faith and life in this crazy 21st century world by an Orthodox priest and a few of his friends.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Home for Christmas - James Hargrave
Mungu yupo! God is with us!
In this Christmas season, as we remember how our God made his home here with us, I have also been given a home here with the people of Mwanza. After more than 100 days of searching, I have at last signed a rental agreement and am beginning a transition from temporary lodging into a new apartment. This is an answer to your many prayers on my behalf. The apartment has a spare room, so now I can offer hospitality-- Karibuni! Welcome!
The process of finding a place to live has been very interesting, and has helped me to understand better the realities of urban life here in Mwanza. I hope that it has taught me to identify more closely with my neighbors here in the city. In the coming weeks, I hope to write a bit more about what this process has looked like and what it has taught me about East African urban reality. But in the meantime, I'd like to leave you just with this thought:
When our God made his home among us, in the flesh of a little child, even his ancestral hometown offered him no hospitality. Christ was born into a cave. But here in Mwanza, far from my ancestral homeland, I have been welcomed as a native and have received a home to live in; a home that has ample space even for guests. I am now faced with the same challenge shared by all of us who are not homeless. Will I make room for Christ, will I offer him hospitality? Will I make room for others in the name of Christ? Or will I be like the many householders of Bethlehem who were too preoccupied to receive even their native son?
I ask your prayers that I may learn to welcome others, and to receive Christ, even as I have been welcomed here. And I thank you again for your many prayers in the past months. God is with us!
If the motive for giving is the love of God - the desire to help any of His children who need help, then the way in which the help is to be used should not form a condition of the giving. As long as the need is there, and the opportunity to help is there, the results can safely be left to God.
- Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, first President of Tanzania