Now the Work of Christmas Begins

Another Christmas has come and gone. We have bought presents, received cards, baked cookies, and added to our waistlines.  It seems, at times, doesn’t it, like a lot of work?

But what now? What do we take away from this holy and sacred season that demands so much of us, yet offers us even more? Do we return to the normal, the regular, and the everyday, relieved it’s over and eager to return to our everyday lives?  Or do we allow the sacred that has been born anew in us to give shape to the way we live and love neighbors?

The song that we used as our guide through Advent, “Where Are You Christmas,” ends with these words:

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

And that’s the hope, isn’t it?  That the sacred moment we experienced as we lifted candles and sang “Silent Night” will live within us throughout the year.

Civil rights leader and theologian Dr. Howard Thurman once wrote a poem called “The Work of Christmas,” that reminds us why we stand on the side of love throughout the year:

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 flock,
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 brothers,
To make music in the heart

As we move into the New Year may the holiness of the holidays inspire us to keep up the important work of Christmas alive in our hearts and actions.