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Keywords:Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Christ, Christmas, Dr. Howard Thurman, Epiphany, Episcopalian, Foundational, Italic, Lutheran, Make-it-special any day, Methodist, Neuland, Pentecoatal, Presbyterian, Quaker Benediction, The Work of Christmas, angels, artful, artistry, belief, believe, bless, blessed, blessing, blue, casual, celebration, certain, choir, choral, church, conviction, convinced, courageous, encouragement, encouraging, faith, feed hungry, find lost, fine art, flock, flourish, flourished, flourishes, forgive, forgiveness, grace, green, guitar, happiness, happy, heal broken, home, hope, hopeful, hoping, hymn, hymnal, hymns, informal capitals, inspiration, inspiring, kings, love, make music heart, music, musicians, organ, pardon, peace, piano, pipe, positive, praise, princes, rebuild nations, red, release prisoner, ring peace among brothers, shepherds, sing, singing, song, songs, star, stirring, sure, truth, uplifting, watercolor
The Work of Christmas

The Work of Christmas

Title: The Work of Christmas
Media: watercolor on unprimed canvas
Size of original: 12 x 35 inches
Blog Post on this image

Christmas is filled with glitter, giving, peace and goodwill. After all the celebrations do we 'pack' all this away? Do we take the Jesus of Christmas for granted?
The Epiphany season that follows Christmas is about keeping the vision of what the world could be with Jesus and helping it become reality. It is making a positive difference in the world and finding practical ways to show love and build peace and goodwill. It is using our passions and energies to live out the Love incarnate and joy we received at Christmas.

I enjoyed using color, shape, weight, space and various letter styles to give visual expression to the meaning of the words.

The internet gives two different sources for this text.
Based on the information at the time I lettered the text in 1998, it was identified as a Quaker Benediction. A search under "When the star in the sky is gone" identifies it as a 19th Century Quaker Benediction traditionally spoken at Christmas.
However, search under "The Work of Christmas" brings up Dr. Howard Thurman as the author of this poem. He was a 20th century civil rights leader, pastor and theologian is sited as the author. He was Dean of Theology and the chapels at Howard University and Boston University for more than two decades, wrote 20 books, and in 1944 helped found the first racially integrated, multicultural church in the United States.

Music for Dr. Thurman's poem was written by Elizabeth Alexander.