“O say can you see…” It’s been 205 years since the poet Francis Scott Key scribbled those now famous words of the Star-Spangled Banner, capturing the vision of our country. Firework displays and 4th of July cookouts are fun ways that many of us will express who we proudly are and always seek to be as a nation…the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The home of the brave. Think about what bravery it took for the first pilgrims to make their way from Europe to Plymouth Rock. Bravery inspired the colonial era patriots to sign their name on a Declaration of Independence, (including my ancestor Thomas McKean) standing up to the most powerful Empire in the world. The USA continued to be the home of the brave when abolitionists opposed the institution of slavery ... when Civil Rights leaders took to the streets to demand equal rights for people of every race and ethnicity ... and in so many other ways.
What about today? We have a military made up of countless brave men and women, and the same goes for first responders. Thanks be to God for them. When I look around, however, I see that the home of the brave extends even more broadly. I think Francis Scott Key meant for “the brave” to include all of us.
The home of the brave. What if we owned that vision in another literal sense? What if we strived to be a nation where everyone has a decent place to live? What if we took to heart the words of God in Isaiah, “This is the kind of fasting I want … Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless … Then your salvation will come like the dawn” (Isaiah 53:6-8) Pursuing a vision like that? That takes bravery.
Habitat for Humanity Charlotte has bravely done this since 1983, helping 1,900 families and putting God’s love in action. For years, Christ Lutheran was involved in building Habitat homes in the Charlotte area … and, we want to bring it back. We face an alarming shortage of Affordable Housing in the Charlotte Metro area and Habitat has a shortage of volunteers. I want to invite you to help us get back in this work locally.
Here’s the idea. We want to create a group of Habitat helpers on Realm … women, men, adults of all different ages. Around four times a year, we’ll have a Saturday when we work on a local Habitat house. You won’t have to commit to showing up for every workday, but you can come as often as you are able. Together, we will work to provide affordable shelter for a neighbor that creates all kinds of positive ripple effects. Look for information in E-News and other communications, or email me in the meantime firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
You don’t have to be a skilled construction worker or professional builder to help. Just someone with a willing spirit and … yes, a bit of bravery!
PS: Christ Lutheran continues to be involved in Habitat internationally, making several trips to El Salvador each year. To take part in this strong … and brave … ministry, please contact Gregg Huether email@example.com