It is nothing short of amazing, that in four short weeks, those baubles, trinkets, and twinkling lights that were once so revered, can quickly become an eyesore. Maybe this is the post-Christmas-gift. The “eye-sore” motivates us more than anything to get rid of all that Christmas stuff, and pack it away, out of sight, as quickly as we can.
So, what’s left? The dark. The long nights of winter, with its low temperatures, it’s hollow empty wind, I’ve always wished that Christmas was actually at the end of January, so we had something to look forward to.
This, according to Howard Thurman, the theologian who asked, “What do we really want?” tell us, that in this dark, is when the real work of Christmas begins.
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 the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.
by Howard Thurman, adapted