“The Work of Christmas”

A number of years ago, I found—entirely by accident—a poem entitled “The Work of Christmas” by the renowned 20th century theologian and pastor, Dr. Howard Thurman.  Every Christmas season since, I have rummaged through my—entirely disorganized—box of “special quotes and writings” to locate Dr. Thurman’s poem.  It is the most meaningful comment on Christmas that I have ever encountered.

May Dr. Thurman’s words inspire us.

May the accompanying music fill us with profound energy.

Today and everyday let us joyfully do “The Work of Christmas”.

Margaret McManus, PhD
Associate Professor of Historical and Theological Studies
American Baptist Seminary of the West


A wealth of information about Howard Thurman’s life, work, and publications, as well as a current documentary film project about him, is available at http://www.howardthurmanfilm.com.  This site also includes an annotated bibliography in pdf form–http://www.howardthurmanfilm.com/images/Thurman_Bib.pdf.

Music for Dr. Thurman’s poem was written by Elizabeth Alexander.  Access two different performances of the poem/song at— http://www.elizabethalexander.com/works/when_the_song_of_the_angels_is_stilled.html.

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