Especially this Christmas I’m looking for, longing for moments of goodwill. Especially this Christmas my heart is seeking kindness. Especially this Christmas my spirit is yearning for the compassion that renews and restores. This Christmas…
“…the hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.” Many of us resonate with these words and this year they ring so very true. It has recently been a season of shouting over one another, with candidates and parties booming out their promises. It’s hard to turn on the radio or TV without being shocked at the cruelties we are able to do to one another. The hopes and fears are present – and I am turning again to Bethlehem.
This Christmas I seek the One who will sit beside the bedside of an old woman who is crying into the night. I seek the One who will walk beside a young boy who is walking home from school, after being bullied for being different. This Christmas I seek the One who makes more room at the table and in the pews – the One whose laughing eyes light up a room, the One whose tears flow with mine.
Christmas seems to have gotten more and more complicated as I’ve grown older. I remember shopping being simpler and “less.” I remember the caroling being done in bunches of friends. I remember caroling house-to-house, and being invited in for hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. I remember…
This Christmas may we be reminded that we are participants in the Christmas Spirit. This isn't a time when we sit in the audience, enjoy the show and clap at the end. This is the time when we are led...to do, to sing, to listen, to shout on the street corner, to roll up our sleeves, to hug more and to give another permission to begin again. Reverend Howard Thurman's prayer, "The Work of Christmas" could not be truer than it is this year:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kinds 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,
everyday, in every way,
in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.
This Christmas may we lead with our hearts. This Christmas may we look one another in the eye and see what is good and fine and holy. This Christmas may there be comfort and joy for each of us. Each. One. Of. Us.
Working as a Hospice Chaplain, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.