I hope that each of you had a joyful and peaceful Christmas yesterday (and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a joyful and peaceful Friday!). We experienced our little Christmas miracle by making what should have been an 18-hour drive home to Colorado in exactly 18 hours – with a toddler and a nursing infant. Isn’t that pretty much physically impossible with 2 little ones?!? Miracles. Seriously. SOOO grateful.
We spent the days leading up to Christmas with my family, then on Christmas morning we drove down to my in-law’s home to spend the next few days with them. We’ve been thoroughly enjoying time to sit and relax, laugh and reminisce with family, and enjoy all the festivities and food that this season brings. (Will share photos soon!)
I’m grateful for this season each year, as it prompts me to remember and reflect on those things that are of deepest importance to me: my family, my beliefs, my faith. It also seems to turn the world’s Goodness Level up a notch – people are more apt to give, more quick to smile, more prone to kindness. What a beautiful time to set aside each year for this purpose! And I love that this season – this season that now seems to reach into a full quarter of each year – is all prompted by the birth of one small boy.
UNICEF estimates that 353,000 babies are born every day. That’s over 130 million every year. Each baby is a cause for celebration in their own little sphere. And yet – 33-45% of the world (depending on which source you look at) pauses each year to celebrate the birth of one particular baby boy. I don’t know if there’s anything else that that many people in the world agree on and like. And while not all of those people are believing Christians, that doesn’t change the fact that perhaps the largest, most celebrated, most far-reaching holiday exists because of the birth of one tiny baby.
One tiny baby that had the most far-reaching effects of anyone else ever born on this earth.
One tiny baby that is more apt to give, quick to smile, and prone to kindness than I will ever be.
I love how this season feels. I’m always a little melancholy on the 26th of December…and the 27th…and the 28th…as I realize we have to wait 11 more months to be swept back up in the jingling bells and lilting carols that warm hearts the world over.
But this year, I’m not feeling as melancholy as we close out the festivities and finish off the last of the Christmas cookies. This year, I discovered a song called “The Work of Christmas”.
I feel like we’re always preached at to “remember the true meaning of Christmas”, or to carry the Spirit of Christmas forward and be nice to people all year long. Which is great and true – but it feels so cliche to say (and hear) that message over and over at Christmas. This year, this song helped me to feel it all so much deeper. It made me excited and inspired to continue “the work of Christmas” long after the season – and to see little acts and efforts of goodness as an especially sacred form of worship.
I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that one piece of it will touch your heart, as it did mine. The lyrics are below, and the music is stunning. I’d recommend you listen to it at this video (or below) as you read the lyrics. God bless us, everyone, in our efforts to continue the Work of Christmas.
The Work of Christmas
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 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 brothers,
To make music from the heart.
-Lyrics by Howard Thurman, music by Dan Forrest