It’s always a bit sad to me when the Christmas holidays have passed; when the decorations are back in their boxes and my grown children have gone back home to their busy lives; when the sense of joyful expectation of Christmastide disperses like mist as I return to addressing the daily needs.

On Epiphany Sunday, the liturgical point bringing Christmastide to an end, Pastor Kory Knott, Custer Road UMC, shared a poem by Howard Thurman, an African-American theologian, philosopher, mystic, educator, and civil rights leader, that reminds us that the light which came into the world shines over all of us all year long, reminding us of how we are to heal what is broken in the world, be peacemakers and share the love of God.

The Work of Christmas, 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.

Mr. Thurman, a prominent religious figure, played a leading role in many social justice movements. His theology of radical nonviolence influenced and shaped a generation of civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King, Jr., to whom he was a mentor.

Let us enter 2024 boldly taking guidance from Mr. Thurman to find the lost, heal the broken, rebuild our nation, be peacemakers for ALL people, and usher light into the world.

May we all find light and peace in this New Year.

God bless and keep you,

Rev Janet

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