And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, [the Magi] departed to their own country by another way. Matthew 2:12
Well, the season of Christmas has come to an end. Today is the day for taking down decorations and tonight -- the Twelfth Night--is the time for baking your King Cake (have a piece every day until Mardi Gras!) one last big joyful party with entertainment (Shakespeare anyone?). (I have meetings tonight. Someone party for me!) Tomorrow is Epiphany and then we will return to our normal routines until Lent.
Or should we?
The Magi did not. Their experience of Christmas changed them for good. And hopefully our experience of Christmas has made some lasting changes in our lives! So for my final thought on the 12 days of Christmas, I share a poem from Howard Thurman:
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 brothers and sisters
To make music in the heart.
Howard Thurman (1900-1981)
Image: The Magi, by He Qi, China