The true mood of Christmas

By Deacon Paul E. Richardson

January 16, 2014

My most recent article addressed the experience of commencing the celebration of Christmas so early that our attention was sought by the merchants even before two other holidays we celebrate prior to Christmas.

Now, I present a way of living that would make the Christmas Spirit live throughout the year. The theme comes from a book, “The Mood of Christmas,” by the Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman (1899 – 1981).

Dr. Thurman was an influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, and more. My exposure to his writings came through a friend of mine in Yellow Springs whose father and Dr. Thurman were friends. Needless to say I am eternally grateful for the friendship of that father’s daughter.

Now for the poem/meditation:

“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 people,

To make music in the heart.”

For all of us who call ourselves Christians, this is truly why Jesus came into this world! He came to show us a way to live, to be concerned for all Creation, and especially our fellow human beings.

Jesus came living a life of compassion, mercy, healing, and love; rather than writing statements of doctrine and dogma. Jesus came to show us the most deeply loving relationship one can have with and through God, our Divine Creator.

Such a way of living is perhaps beyond our human understanding; however, perhaps we should stop trying to understanding it (which gives us the opportunity to control) and just start living in a more compassionate, merciful, forgiving, healing, loving way to make all people free of whatever it is that is keeping them captive to any and all addictions of our age.

Deacon Paul E. Richardson is from St. Paul Church, Yellow Springs and is a guest columnist.