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by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter December 20, 2018

We need new lists.

No, not additional lists. Lists abound in the Christmas season. "To do" lists describe the many things that must happen at work in order to make it to your kids Christmas play on time. "To purchase" lists enumerate just how many presents to buy and for whom. Grocery lists curate how many Christmas hams to purchase and help organize our cupboards and counters when company comes over for Christmas. Even Santa's list names who is naughty and who is nice. We need a new list. Something that names what happens next!

What happens after the work is done and presents bought and meals consumed?

Howard Thurman, a theologian, and civil rights leader has composed just the right list for us, a reminder of
what comes next, even after our celebrations of Christ's birth.

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 hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

~ Howard Thurman