The Work of Christmas
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.
“The Work of Christmas” is from Howard Thurman’s “The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations”
Greetings and peace to you and yours as we journey with great expectation from Advent into the profound hope of Christmas to the everlasting light of the Epiphany.
The author of the poem quoted above was Howard Thurman. He was a mystical, prophetic preacher active in the American civil rights movement in the 1960s. This poem speaks of the work that needs to be done “after Christmas.” It feels peculiar to write about “after Christmas” when on the cusp of beginning Christmas. But, for some reason, I felt drawn to these words as I started to get anxious about all the Christmas preparations I need to make at work and in our own home. As I was thinking about not having my Christmas cake made, or gifts bought, or garlands hung these words of Thurman kept coming back to me.
We are busy in our own personal preparations, but the work of Christmas is not only about decorations and celebrations it is about bringing peace among the people. We have many opportunities to bring peace to one another. Think about to Lunch By George or Martha’s Table to bring peace to a hungry soul; or give to the Tree of Hope to bring peace to vulnerable children; or give generously to the work of PWRDF (https://pwrdf.org/get-involved/shop-pwrdfs-world-of-gifts/ ) to bring peace among the nations. There are countless opportunities to offer peace in the world.
But above all, I pray, as your pastor and friend, you are able to find peace in your own life. Through this Holy-day season I hope you find the time to rest and (re)connect with God Incarnate.
My friends, for this Christmas season, along with my family, we wish you peace, comfort, and the ability to set aside Holy-time throughout this Holiday.
Gloria in excelsis Deo! Glory to God in the Highest!
Reverend Sandra Hounsell-Drover