Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Work of the Year Ahead

There's a flaw in our Christmas ideal, I realized. 

After I wrote about grace
            For the naughty and nice on each Christmas morn …

Different questions came to mind. 

How many didn't get what they wanted?
How many got next to nothing?
            Only the naughty? Only the bad ones?

                        Nope. Didn't think so.

How many poor or homeless children woke up to naught? 

Did they spend their day
wondering if they were bad? If it was all their own fault?

When all around them has called for gifts and grandeur
            iPads and fancy toys
were they the ones left wondering if next year,

Maybe, Hopefully,

They could just do something differently?

If they do what's right and proper and nice will
            Christmas 2013 give them what they need, even more than
                        what they want?

Could they, perhaps,
            pull themselves up by their own bootstraps? With enough
            elbow grease, might they find the light of next Christmas?

Or could we,
who have discovered grace, naughty or nice,

Do something to make a difference?

A task for all before Christmas returns again.

I close my Christmas season as I have done many times
            reminded by the poet of the work of the season
                        every day.

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 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.
--Howard Thurman

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