Thursday, December 20, 2018

"The Work of Christmas," by Howard Thurman



Howard Thurman’s poem, “The Work of Christmas” provides a vision of a society informed by Jesus’s parable of the Sheep and Goats in the Gospel of Matthew and the biblical principle of hospitality:

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the 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,
To make music in the heart.  

Thurman reminds us of how Jesus wants us to respond to the mind-numbing torrent of injustice, cruelty, and bigotry around us. 

Or as Micah, another Jewish prophet many centuries before Jesus, proclaimed Micah 6:8):    


[God] has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God?


My wish for 2019 is that justice, mercy, and humility will make a comeback.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Models for Grant Wood's American Gothic

Grant Wood, American Gothic  (Art Institute of Chicago) I just finished my chapter, “The Belated Return of the ‘Son’: Thomas Hart Bento...