It’s nearly impossible to avoid the political noise dominating the media, demanding our attention, and which continued unabated during the recent Christmas season. What a contrast between strident voices on the political stage, and the message of peace, compassion and love for all that Jesus came to deliver to a broken world. Recently a religious leader at a christian college lavished praise on one of the candidates for President, comparing that person to Jesus Christ. I suggest that we do our own assessment of how well the candidates align with what Jesus describes as the work of the Kingdom of God, as opposed to the kingdoms of this world. We could use the following poem as a guide, written by Howard Thurman, an African-American theologian, educator and civil rights leader, called “Now the Work of Christmas Begins”:
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.