Once the Stable Is Empty
The New Year is here and in a few days, Christians around the world will observe what some call "Little Christmas" - the Feast of the Epiphany - Three Kings Day. In searching for ideas for a sermon I am giving soon, I came across this poem written by Rev. Howard Thurman. The message, I believe, is universal. Not simply for Christians but for people of all faith paths or even none at all.
Work of Christmas Begins by Rev. Howard Thurman
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.
Once our sacred celebrations are over, once we have stopped the hoopla of our special days, what happens? In the context of the Holy Days just observed, when the stable is empty, the candles are burned down, or the fire is gone cold, what do we do?
Many non-Christians observe Christmas as a time of gift giving and family reunions. When all the wrapping paper is gathered up, all the dishes washed and put away, all the thank you cards sent out, what do we do?
Do we simply return to our lives as before? Or, do we take something from whatever practice we follow to begin anew in the new year? Do we release the pain and sorrow of the past, so that we might travel lightly and with strength into the future, believing that we ARE the change we have been waiting for all this time?
May we all, regardless of the path we are on, take time to reach out a hand, wipe a tear, bind a wound or simply sit with grief, pain or suffering, because there are times when that is all we can do. Let us be the Light for others, shining brightly with the knowledge that we make a difference.
May the New Year bring us all blessings of Peace, Health, Joy and most of all Love.