Celebrating the Extraordinary Ordinary Days

Churches that observe a liturgical calendar are in the throes of “ordinary time.” Also known as “Kingdomtide,” this period between Pentecost (which follows the Easter season) and Advent (a time of preparation before Christmas) does not signify inactivity or lack of importance, but rather a time to focus on the teachings of Jesus. In the life of the church — and in the rhythm of Habitat — ordinary days are not concerned so much with big events and annual celebrations but rather daily disciplines and routines.

Just as families grow closer by sharing meals together, playing games and enjoying music, members of the Habitat family build incredible bonds and create lasting memories while tending to everyday business. Around the world, unexpected moments and the discovery of commonalities have led to lifetime friendships, pivotal points on individual faith journeys and altars of thanksgiving for those who walked onto the worksite perceiving themselves as givers and left as humble receivers.

We find a familiar and poetic admonition about time in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. In this online edition, you can read the Habitat version of “to everything there is a season,” which we have titled “a time to build.” Join with a homeowner burning her mortgage and finally owning a home — a time to weep and a time to laugh. Ask yourself if you are making time to connect, like the volunteer who consistently seeks out roles and tasks that enable him to meet and welcome newcomers. And let a future homeowner who has just begun her sweat equity inspire you in this time of planning for her new future.

We need to celebrate the big events in the life of Habitat: milestones to mark time and progress, the dedication of each new home, recognition of faithful service and worship of the God who makes all things possible. These celebrations bring us joy and wonder, which provide an offensive against the repetition of routine. However, we also discover power and purpose in day-to-day activities when we commit ourselves to obedient service.

I am constantly aware of what a precious resource time can be in our busy lives. So many demands cry out for our attention. Thank you for the gift of your time that you have offered Habitat for Humanity and thank you for making time for families around the world who dream of a simple, decent place in which to live.

Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO