"The Work of Christmas," by Howard Thurman
Howard Thurman’s poem, “The Work of Christmas” is my favorite Christmas poem. It 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 our fellow human beings in ways that God demands and in ways that echo, as Jesus of Nazareth declared in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere, how God loves and treats us.
May we truly make "music in the heart" for others and therefore ourselves in 2022.