Friday, December 28, 2012

The Work of Christmas

It is just a few days after Christmas. The wrapping paper is cleaned up and most of the leftovers are eaten. The cookie tins hold only crumbs, and the new gifts are being played with. I always love this last stretch of the year between Christmas and New Year's Day where we reflect on the past year, and look forward to the next.

There is so much expectation, so much excitement for the one, glowing day of Christmas. But the beautiful thing is that it isn't just one day, it's our lives. We can be "Christmas" every day to those in need of hope, love, joy, and peace. We can do the true work of Christmas day in and day out in every corner of the world. I love this poem by Howard Thurman, and I've reflected on it the past few years. I want to share it with all of you as you wrap up your December.

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 people,
To make music in the heart.

How fitting it is that we close each year remembering "God with us" who came to change our stories, so that we could change stories all over the world. I encourage each of you in your ministry this year as you bring peace, search for those who have lost their way, feed the hungry, and rebuild the nations. May you experience God's love and grace as you go forward into 2013!


  1. Beautiful. Thank you!

    I love that for us, here each year ends with Christmas, and then each new year starts with Christmas, too. I'm going to print this poem out and meditate on it, after our January 7 Christmas Day.

  2. What a beautiful post and poem! Thanks so much. The last days of the year are a time of rest for me, reflecting on last year, and planning for next year, but sometimes I feel a bit of post holiday blues. This brought a smile to my face as I consider the ministry before me!!!