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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:48 PM

Beyond the manger

While the Biblical stories of Christmas are beautiful, they, at their core, offer a way of life. After serving on the faculty of Howard University, Howard Thurman founded the “Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples.” in San Francisco. His final post was as Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University (1953-65). But perhaps
For Thurman, as for many millions of others, the message of Christmas is the entrée to a life-changing encounter with the Holy, and that means with the world. The mystery surrounding Jesus’ birth is far more than the telling of a beautiful story of angels, shepherds, wise men and a star hanging over the manger. So what do we do when the last carol is a fading memory and the remnants of the feast have been safely refrigerated? Here is how Thurman put it:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the 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,
To make music in the heart.

From The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations
Howard Thurman
Friends United Press, 2001 edition.
For many of us these stories are call to bind up the world’s wounds. People see what they see. But what moves millions of us each year, when the angels have gone and the star is dimmed, is living with and knowing about people all over the world, of all religions—and none, who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of peace, justice, compassion and the vision of a better world. That is what the story of the Christ child is at its core, and that is the heart not only of Christianity, but most other religions and a non-religious ethical sensitivity. Thurman’s vision is what goes on these days in seminaries, in thousands of congregations and in millions of homes, even as the decorations are being taken down and safely put in their boxes.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Beyond the manger (Original post)
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 OP
dballance Dec 2012 #1
skepticscott Dec 2012 #2
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #3
okasha Dec 2012 #4
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #5
okasha Dec 2012 #6

Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:06 PM

1. Thank you for posting

I find this very relevant and stole it for my Facebook page. With proper credit to Thurman of course.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:19 PM

2. Except that you have declared

That no one would want to live in a world in which ethics were not based on religion. So you disagree significantly with Thurman. And of course, nothing that Thurman advocates requires religion and all of its odious baggage in order to be achieved.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:41 PM

3. Does one need religion to do those things? No, not even a little.

It takes empathy.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:04 PM

4. Pagans have a different narrative,

but the same work in the world. In the coming year may we see more of the lost brought home, the broken made whole, the hungry filled, the prisoners freed, the nations governed and their resources used, for the benefit of their people, brothers reconciled across the barriers of politics and religion, music in the heart and dancing in the street.

Let it be so.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:54 PM

5. I thought the pope said a lot of the Christmas story is bunk

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:01 PM

6. So?

n/t

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