All of that build-up for a brief few moments that swiftly join the stream of history leave us with a sense of both fatigue and bewilderment. What comes next?
Christian theologian and mystic, Howard Thurman, viewed the days after Christmas from a spiritual perspective. He wrote a poem, “The Work of Christmas Begins,” to express his sentiments.
Properly understood, our work is only just beginning after Christmas.
Followers of Christ have been commissioned to walk the path he did. To bind up the broken-hearted. To preach good news to the poor. To proclaim liberty to the captives.
Christmas brings the incarnate God, the Prince of Peace, to humanity. In this prince’s kingdom mercy, justice, and love reign.
As citizens of this heavenly kingdom and members of this royal household, Christ’s followers serve as ambassadors of this kingdom ethic.
Now the day after Christmas, our work is only just beginning.
From The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations 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.
To learn more about the remarkable life and ministry of Howard Thurman, read the recent biography by historian Paul Harvey. Howard Thurman and the Disinherited: A Religious Biography