Long after Christmas is a distant memory, the Father earnestly wants His children to continue bringing to others the miraculous hope that was made possible by Jesus’ humble birth in Bethlehem. Consequently in this changing of the seasons that unfolds during the latter part of each December, I find myself reflecting on these words that put this annual time of transition into stark focus:
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 their flocks
The work of Christmas begins
To find the lost
To heal the broken
To feed the empty
To encourage the hopeless
To set the captive free
Howard Thurman Paraphrased
If we live all year long with a keen awareness that on December 26 this work of Christmas has just begun, we are less likely to miss the priceless moments when God can use us to make a difference in another life. These people who need us to carry His sincere kindness to them are all around us, silently passing by us every single day.
They are those:
Good hearted people in relationships overwhelming them with heartache.
People with no one to be there for them. They are completely alone.
Single moms who go to bed each night hurting for their children.
Children whose hearts are broken and scared because Mom and dad are fighting. They feel like their world is being ripped apart.
Troubled, disillusioned young people feeling empty, with no peace and no hope that life can ever change or get better.
Those who have lost their job and can’t find another one. Deeply discouraged, they face each day with no peace. No comfort. Only a troubling concern about what the future holds for them.
Those gripped by sadness over what they’ve lost that can never come back. Grieving over what could have been that is no longer possible. Hurting with so many crushing disappointments, they’ve sunk into the hopelessness of despair.
Old people in convalescent hospitals who will never again be going back home. Their health has failed. They wait, alone, day after day for someone to come and be with them, and care about them. But no one comes. So they end their life completely alone.
For those of us who know Jesus, at the end of life it won’t matter “what kind of house we own, or even if we own a home. It won’t matter what kind of car we have, or how many clothes we possess. It won’t even matter how much we have in the bank, or if we have any money at all.” (Author Unknown). All that will matter are the faces that come to mind of those the Father sent into our lives so that we could bring to them His kindness and the hopeful safety of His humble, simple love.
Each December 26, looking at life in this way can spur us on to whatever lies ahead that the Father has planned for us to experience and do for Him in the New Year.