I wanted to share some more Christmas gems that I found in my devotionals. I hope you find them as meaningful as I do.
“Christmas is about a word from God addressed to the world in its exhaustion.”
“The gift of Christmas contradicts everything we sense about our own life. Our world feels unsavable, and here is the baby named Jesus, ‘Save.’ Our world and our lives often feel abandoned, and here is the baby named Immanuel, ‘God with us.’”(1)
This is a difficult year in so many ways for so many people–and that makes it a difficult Christmas. I found the above thoughts wonderfully encouraging as so many wonder if God can fix the mess our world is in, and if so, when.
But we all know that sometimes, most times in fact, God works through the followers of Jesus. We are God’s hands, feet, mouths, and hearts, on earth. These two Christmas poems by African American theologian Howard Thurman seemed to especially speak to that precise point for this Christmas season. They are from Thurman’s book, The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations.
The Work of Christmas
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky in 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 people,
To make music in the heart.
Christmas is Waiting to be Born
Where refugees seek deliverance that never comes
And the heart consumes itself as if it would live,
Where 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.
CHRISTMAS IS WAITING TO BE BORN:
In you, in me, in all mankind.(2)
Wow! Those are so powerful! I urge us all to sit with those two poems for awhile.
May Christmas be born in us this year.
(1) “Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent,’ Walter Bruggemann, Kindle version. Pages 67 & 68.
(2)These poems by Howard Thurman were included in Lean Towards the Light This Advent & Christmas, by Christine Aroney-Sine and Lisa DeRosa. Kindle version, page 144.