The Work of Christmas - Continued...

I had never before come across a piece entitled "The Work of Christmas" or "When the Song of the angels is stilled" by African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman, until a few days ago, when I chased up the origins of a facebook meme, which turned out to be a reworking of this poem by Michael Dougherty, co-chair of the Social Justice Committee at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Whitehorse, Yukon. The original has been used as the basis for a choral carol which seems to be popular in Amrica, but which, despite it's subject and sentiment, leaves me cold. But given that it has been reworked at least once and that I barely have an original thought in my head, I thought I would us both as the building blocks for a 2 verse poem of my own: 

When the angel choir has gone home to heaven
When the last notes of their song has faded away
When the shepherds are back to watching their sheep
When Bethlehem is no longer so busy
When all those gathered for the census have gone home
When the magi are making their way back east
When the special star has long gone from the sky
That is when the work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To comfort the sorrowing,
To feed the hungry,
To release the oppressed,
To bring glory to God
To bring peace on earth
To be a light to the nations.
When the carolers have stopped all their singing
When the TV schedules are back to normal
When all family and friends have gone back home,
When the decorations are all dismantled
When the star-topped tree is packed away again
When we are all back working hard at our desks
That is when work of Christmas begins:
To welcome the refugee,
To heal a broken world,
To work that none should be hungry,
To break down walls
To renew the nation
To promote justice and peace for all
To sing a song of hope.



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