Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope everybody will have a safe and restful Christmas break. Although Christmas is a joyous time, for some it is not. I ask everyone to pray and help support the people who experience stress this Christmas season.
Soon all the Christmas celebrating, opening gifts, and delicious Christmas meals will be over. We will be taking down the Christmas tree, boxing up the decorations, and returning the odd gift. Christmas will be over and the adults will be back at work and the children will soon be back at school. Christmas will be over, but wait; is that all there is to Christmas? Is it just a time to briefly remember the birth of Christ, give and receive gifts, visit with family, and enjoy big meals? As Howard Thurman says, now that the Christmas season is over the true work of Christmas begins:
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When Kings and Princes return home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken in spirit,
To feed the hungry,
To release the oppressed,
To rebuild nations,
To bring peace among all people’s,
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.”
As Christmas ends and a new year starts, we must remember that the ‘New Year’ is a gift from God. All the joyous events that we will be experiencing in 2017 will be carrying God’s blessing. Often I tell the students that every day is Christmas. I hope that every day in 2017 we live like it is Christmas Day. Christ our Savior will be with us throughout 2017, all we must do is invite and welcome Him in. As we reflect on the miracle of Christmas you realize that the work of Christmas has only just begun. Please work throughout 2017 to support all the members of our community, especially those that may be struggling. The work of Christmas is just beginning.
Blessings to everyone as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and a Happy New Year!