The 24-7 Christmas music station stopped playing its holiday tunes on December 26. Bare and dry Christmas trees are starting to populate the alleys. And some of the neighborhood’s glittering lights and displays are starting to come down.
Yet in our church calendar, we are only half way through the 12 days of Christmas that lead us to the Feast of the Epiphany.
So while holiday guests may have departed and you’re wondering what on earth to do with your kids for the second week of winter break, take some time to sit in the wonder and love of Emmanuel, God with us.
Howard Thurman, renowned African-American theologian, educator and civil rights leader reminds us in his beautiful poem that the work of Christmas truly begins after the songs have ended, the lights put away, and we’ve returned to our daily routines. For it is in our everyday living that we are called to find the lost, feed the hungry, and seek justice.
As we move through the rest of the Christmas season and celebrate the end of 2022, I wish you all a blessed and joyous New Year. I look forward to discovering what 2023 has in store for our community of faith.
The Work of Christmas, by Howard Thurman
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.
This poem and others by Howard Thurman can be found in The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations, published by Friends United Press.