Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas.  Tomorrow the work of Christmas must begin....

The Work of Christmas
[Howard Thurman, The Mood 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 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 (and sisters),
    To make music in the heart.

Our best human resources will fall far short.  This work will take more than our own power, ambition, commitment, money, desire or belief to achieve.  The work of Christmas requires something far greater than we can muster.  It requires a new burst of  energy, a "divine birth" within us of a Love that exceeds our own limited capacities.  It is the purpose of Christmas to bring this burst of life, light and love to every human heart.   On this Twelfth Day, "Christmas," as Thurman puts it, "is waiting to be born:  In you, in me, in all humankind." 

Walnut carving, 1986
Photo by Nancy M. Reynolds
"Our best resources fall far short for
the work of Christmas."

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