Now The Work Of Christmas Begins

2022년 1월 9일

Now The Work Of Christmas Begins

< The Baptism of the Lord >

 So, Christmas is over, what do we do now? All our trees are down and decorations put away for another year. If there were holiday parties in this third year of the pandemic, surely by now all the dishes and plates are washed and silverware and glasses put away. Gifts are all unwrapped, some enjoyed, some returned, some regifted. The holidays are over. Winter is just starting. And Covid isn’t going away anytime soon. We can’t hide our doubts and fears behind Christmas carols anymore. So now what?

Almost 100 years ago, an African American minister wrote this poem:


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.

  For Rev. Thurman, these are more than words. He put his faith into practice. The grandson of slaves, he influenced Rev. Martin Luther King and Rev. Jesse Jackson as well as Mahatma Gandhi. We can say this unknown Christian has influenced the world in great ways by simply putting his faith into action. Today’s feast points us to Jesus, who had no sin yet submitted for baptism by John in the Jordan River. By this public act, Jesus showed that God is not only with us, but God is for us. We, in turn, must go out and be with and for others. If we changed just one person’s heart and made them realize how much God loves them, we too can change the world. We only need to change one person, and that one person is ourselves.