Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Howard Thurman gets it....

Last night I heard a song at my daughters choir concert that was beautiful. I can't seem to get it out of my head today. Apparently it is an old Nineteenth Century Quaker Benediction; a meditation penned by the great African-American theologian and mystic Howard Thurman. I had never heard it before, and I thought I would share the words with you.

The Work of Christmas

"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.

-- Howard Thurman, The Mood of Christmas, 23

While doing a bit of searching on line I found another selection from this book:

Christmas Is Waiting to Be Born

"Where refugees seek deliverance that never comes,
and the heart consumes itself, if it would live,
Where little children age before their time,

And life wears down the edges of the mind,
Where the old man sits with mind grown cold,

While bones and sinew, blood and cell, go slowly down to death,
Where fear companions each day's life,
And Perfect Love seems long delayed.
In you, in me, in all mankind."
The Mood of Christmas, 21

Here's Thurman's reflection on The Spirit of Christmas:

"The spirit of Christmas--what is it? It is the rainbow arched over the roof of the sky when the clouds are heavy with foreboding. It is the cry of life in the newborn babe when, forced from its mother's nest, it claims its right to live. It is the brooding Presence of the Eternal Spirit making crooked paths straight, rough places smooth, tired hearts refreshed, dead hopes stirred with the newness of life. It is the promise of tomorrow at the close of every day, the movement of life in defiance of death, and the assurance that love is sturdier than hate, that right is more confident that wrong, that good is more permanent than evil.

I think I'd like to find and read the entire Mood of Christmas.....

1 comment:

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing these~
I know how you feel, in your recent entry about not liking to make cookies or wrap presents or put the decorations up, because of the drain of the work involved~ when it stops being for fun and starts being a discipline.......!