Caught Up (kinda!)

Do you know, I’m not sure how helpful it is for me, or for anyone else, to read about how I failed at completing 40 Acts this year, so I think I’m going to stop blogging about what I haven’t done, but rather briefly think about what I have done. If anyone wants to follow 40 Acts, the blog is here so you can read it for yourself.

For ACT 13 I posted some Ninja notes through random post boxes, some with Bible verses, others with encouraging sayings

For ACT 15 I tried to pray whenever I felt prompted…which wasn’t very often, I must admit!!

For ACT 16 I promised our neighbours, who are facing the closure oftheir restaurant, that we would support them in their takeaway business. So far, that’s meant three pizzas and two slices of gorgeous Chocolate-Apricot gateau! Not exactly a hardship! We are also committed to shopping locally – partly through necessity, but also to support small businesses through this difficult time.

For ACT 18 we are driving much less…!!! (Though not necessarily by choice) Isn’t it amazing how Venice is so clean when the everyday traffic stops

 

For ACT 23 I am trying hard not to moan through this confinement period: we know it is for the good of our health, and the good of others’; we have work to do and so can earn money; we are able to go out for a short walk in the beautiful countryside round here (1 km from our homes, no more than 1 hour, go alone); there are supplies in the local supermarket & other shops. We are lucky. I know there are people confined in small appartments with children, trying to work, or unable to work, worried about where money is going to come from…so definitely NO COMPLAINING!!1

For ACT 24 I’m telling you about LEND WITH CARE which is, in my opinion a great charity to support. Now I give a £15 voucher to any young couple I know getting married (!) so they can choose who to support on a new venture, as they start on their new life together. And it’s the gift that keeps giving: as you are paid back, you can lend to another entrepreneur. With an outlay of my initial £15 I think I have supported 4 or 5 people starting new businesses.

There! I’ve caught up in a more positive way!!

LUNCH TIME!!

I’ve got three lessons this afternoon, and quite honestly I’d rather just have a nap…

Catching Up

As I said, 40 Acts has been a disaster for me. I started off less enthusiastically than in other years, and quickly lost motivation, as the news of the pandemic became more serious and I started feeling anxious.

So, what did I do, if anything…You can click on the title of each section if you want to read the meditation from 40 Acts

ACT 7: You first

After you.’ It’s not something you hear very often in our preoccupied, me-first society. Yet, how easy it is to offer a higher place in the queue, your seat on the bus, the chance to go through a road junction first. And what a blessing to receive it!

Green: Everywhere you go today, hold the door open for anyone who’s following you.

Amber: Allow another shopper to go ahead of you at the checkout or let another driver out of a junction.

Red: Continue into the week, looking for opportunities to practice ‘preferring others’. Determine to make this a constant habit.

I do try to be considerate, to hold doors open, to let lesser loaded shoppers go first and so on…So today I continued to do this. I also tried very hard not to make sarcastic comments (only to myself) about drivers who I considered to be driving slower than they should be! Nothing world shattering, I’m afraid!

It did make me smile though, as I remebered last year…One 40 Acts day I was feeling right mardy, as I wandered the aisles of Lidl with my trolley filling up. I felt a prompt from somewhere, pointing out my less than charitable efforts.

“Oh alright then,” I grumped, “I’ll let anyone with a basket go first.” SIGH

I got to the checkout. Shortly after, a guy holding a couple of baguettes arrived behind me.

Allez-y” I said, and he thanked me, and went next. As I prepared to unload my shopping onto the conveyor belt someone else arrived with a basket. Hah, God, I thought. Very funny.

Allez-y” I said, and as she slipped by me (yes, you’ve guessed it) two more people with baskets arrived. By now God and I were in on the joke, so I was happy to let them past too…but it did make me wonder about God’s sense of humour!!

ACT 8: UNDER THE WEATHER

Coughs, sneezes or assigned to bed… if you live alone, it can be difficult to manage cooking or even making a drink; and if others depend on you, there’s the pressure to carry on, regardless of how ill you feel. Someone you know is going through a hard time with their health, so put aside time to help them in a practical way.

Green: Text or call someone you know who is unwell to see how they are doing.

Amber: Create a care package or ask someone if they’d like you to prepare a meal for them.

Red: Set aside some time for a hospital or care home visit, or relieve someone who cares for a relative full-time for a couple of hours.

This seemed a bit ironic, as the pandemic crept closer to us… But Mr FD wasn’t feeling 100% as he was nursing a cold. I felt that looking after him, and keeping my patience (he’s not the best of patients!) was a good effort.

I did also text a friend who wasn’t feeling well, with some Get Well Soon thoughts.

ACT 9 PREPAID

Imagine turning up to buy something, only to find you haven’t brought enough money. You apologise and start to move away, but the assistant says you can take it because someone else has already paid. The stuff of fantasy? Not if you become part of a growing momentum of pre-paying on behalf of the needy.

Green: Leave coins taped to a car-park ticket machine.

Amber: Check out websites like www.suspendedcoffee.com or search on Facebook for ‘suspended coffee’ to find an outlet near you where you can buy drinks for the homeless to collect later.

Red: Contact a Christian holiday centre and ask if they have a bursary scheme whereby you can offer to pay towards a guest’s stay.

I intended to do the green act, but never quite got round to it. The best I could do was leave a spare plastic jeton in the supermarket shopping trolley. Not even a 1€ coin, but a plastic jeton!! Still, I guess it would still be useful if you didn’t have your coins with you.

ACT 10 LITTERBUG

Every cigarette butt casually discarded, every sweet wrapper or takeaway container soon adds up to a big problem on our streets. Let’s care for the planet God gave us. Find a bin. It’s a win-win.

Green: Pick up five pieces of litter today.

Amber: Keep a pair of protective gloves in your pocket or bag, ready to remove debris wherever you go. You could even separate out the litter to recycle at home.

Red: Plan a community clean-up day. Advertise it as widely as you can and gather a team to systematically work through specific areas. Spread the word on social media with the hashtag #40acts.

Sorry. Did nothing…

ACT 11: FRIEND INDEED

We’re thinking of friendship in its thick-and-thin sense, today. Among our circle will be friends who are going through tough times and need someone near them. Sometimes, fear of saying the wrong thing makes us stay away, but so often all that’s needed is some company and a listening ear.

Green: Call a friend who you know is struggling and ask them how they are.

Amber: Give a small thing like a card or their favourite food to let a friend who is sad know that you are thinking of them.

Red: When you speak to someone, listen carefully to what they tell you and, if anything rings alarm bells, ask them if they’d like you to go with them to get extra support elsewhere.

We have friends in Rome – as the pandemic in Italy gets worse, and the restrictions more severe, I sent them a message assuring them of love and prayers. They joined in our Zoom church service today – it was lovely to see them!

Also, later on, after France was put under lockdown (allowed out only for a few reasons) I posted some Ninja notes into people’s post boxes – hopefully to cheer them up.

ACT 12: CHOCOLATE TUESDAY

It’s a rare person who doesn’t like chocolate, so this one is for lots of people around you. Wherever you go today, spread the love, chocolate style! You’re obviously going to need to work within your budget, but push the boat out and buy Fairtrade if you can.

Green: Buy a box or tub and leave it by the coffee machine at work, or at the school reception. Add a cheerful ‘help yourself’ note, with the hashtag #40acts (and your name if you want to encourage a response).

Amber: Arm yourself with chocolate and hand it out to those you meet as you go through the day.

Red: Keep an eye out and an ear open for God to prompt you about who to approach. As you offer them the chocolate, add an explanation about 40acts and see what conversations open up about Jesus.

I knew this was coming, as Chocolate Tuesday is a recurring Act, so I was already prepared! Chocolate bars for the students I was teaching, a box of chocolate for the staff at the Language Centre, and another left out for the students. A card and a 40 Acts sticker. While my students were surprised, they were happy to accept. And one bar left over for Mr FD!

I’m pausing in the mammoth catch up now, as I’m going to have a Mothering Sunday Skype (or equivalent) call to my mum.

More at a later date!!

40 Acts Disaster!

OK, I imagine that the lack of 40 Acts posts tell you that maybe this year it hasn’t gone as well as it might have done…

To be honest, the Covid-19 virus has rather overtaken things, with advice, then directives coming from the French government. So since Sunday all schools, and shops except food and pharmacy shops were closed; on Monday we heard that Language centres and other non-essential businesses were to close, and finally on Tuesday, from mid-day onwards we were in lockdown, only allowed to leave our homes to go food shopping, to go to essential work, to go to the doctors or pharmacy, or to go (singly) for exercise. And for any of these activities, we have to print off (for each day) a document to be signed “on our honour” that we are partaking in one of these activities.

Mr FD was sent home on Monday afternoon, as was I, and I spent the rest of the day contacting students to set a “virtual classroom” in place. My Language Centre, Bonjour World, have been really proactive finding a really easy-to-use site for video lessons, other sites to help us, contacting students etc. Whereas the other has been a bit “do your own thing”. Happily for me, as auto entrepreneur, most of my students have agreed to either having phone lessons, or trying the virtual classroom, which means I’m unlikely to lose money.

The French Government have also been good, promising a something-billion € package to ensure that people don’t lose out on income (as much as is possible) through the situation. It’s a weird place we’re in now, waiting to see if any symptoms develop, but we are fairly optimistic. One guy at Mr FD’s work went off sick before the Lockdown,with a fever and other symptoms, but we’ve not had news of how he is. We are both coughing, and have sore throats, but as this has been lingering for quite some time, without getting worse, we are assuming that it’s the tail end of a cold.

Christ Church, Clermont Ferrand, is organising a “virtual church” on Sunday through Zoom, at 10.30 CET – if anyone would like to join us, let me know and I’ll send you information. Bishop Mark Edington is also putting together an e-book of reflections for Morning Prayer, to which various members of the Convocation are contributing – including me! It is to sustain Christians (& others) who are finding the confinement difficult. He says:

Dear Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I am already sensing

— A rising degree of cabin fever

— A longing to see my friends and fellow-disciples

— A genuine need for companionship and fellowship in the weeks ahead

— A feeling that I need to >do< something

So I have an idea.

Let’s create a Convocation Companion for everyone in all of our congregations for the days ahead.

It will go from now until April 17— which (I earnestly hope) the day the present 30-day ban on travel into or out of the Schengen zone will be lifted.

If any reader would like the link, please say so in the comments below.

But despite not following 40 Acts, I am trying to still be generous – I am going out for my solitary walk each day, and I’m planning on putting Ninja notes, packets of seeds, and maybe other treats in people’s letter boxes. I probably will avoid chocklit and other edibles as I wonder if people might be suspicious of them. I have some bookmarks that I bought in Noz, I have the packets of seeds that I bought, and I might start doing some post card sized zentangles. Things that might bring a smile to people’s faces!

I don’t have too much time at the moment, as teaching at distance requires a bit more work – planning in advance, but also a lesson summary and follow up work to be sent out. But I’m glad to be working and still earning money, even though I’ve had a few cancellations.

All I can say to you, my dear readers, is what I’m saying to everyone at the end of my emails:

Stay safe & keep washing your hands!

 

 

40 ACTS :: 5&6

Hey ho! I seem to be writing about the Acts in pairs…and I’m not doing very well with them either. I like the prompts I’m being given, but this year I’m not feeling the same excitement about fulfilling the challenges. Perhaps it’s because they seem very familiar after a few years of following 40 Acts, and so there’s not the same anticipation.

But then, sometimes this Christian life is just a bit of a slog: it’s pulling up your Big Girls’ Knickers and getting on with it. Not every day is going to be shiny and happy and full of the Joys of Spring. It’s just Doing It.

ACT 5: Shop Double

Instead of trolley dashing through the aisles to get your supermarket shop done as quickly as possible, consider shopping for someone else too. Offering to get supplies for a friend whose car is off the road, or for someone you know who is unwell or elderly, could be an absolute life-line. As the slogan says, every little helps.

Green: Pop a few extra items into your trolley for others or to add to the charity box on your way out.

Amber: Phone or call in on an elderly or unwell friend, neighbour or family member and ask if you can do their shopping along with yours.

Red: Bless someone by not only collecting their shopping for them but paying for it as well.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10 NIV)

It is the annual Restos du Coeur collection this coming Friday – collecting at the big supermarkets for the local food banks. I’m afraid I have ducked out of helping with the collection, as the Church slot is early evening, and I used the excuse of living an hours drive away. Yes, I know it was an excuse, and yes, I know I should have volunteered…But I didn’t.

But I am going to call in at the supermarket on my way home and buy some items to go to the collection point. So yesterday’s Green task is being postponed until Friday…

Act 6: Best Day…

Lewis Carroll first coined the phrase ‘unbirthday’. Why wait until it’s someone’s official special day? Make plans to spoil someone, either spontaneously today or in the near future. Surprise them if you know that’s what they like, or pre-warn them if that would make it easier for them to accept your invitation.

Green: Send someone a message to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Amber: Offer to babysit for a couple who don’t manage to get out much. Tell them to be as late back as they like!

Red: Casually ask the person you have in mind what their idea of a special day would be, then do your best to create it for them – even if it’s not your thing.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Matthew 22: 37–39 NIV)

Spoiling someone starts to sound expensive – and that worries me, as I am still trying to do these Acts on a budget (which sounds stupid after we’ve just bought a new car…but that was necessity rather than choice – and is, in fact, why I’m trying to do these Acts on a budget!!)

But the Green act isn’t expensive, in terms of money, at least. I haven’t seen our friend Monique for quite a while – she lost her husband just over a year ago, and found it a real struggle. We supported her through the first months, but then rather tailed off, I’m ashamed to admit.

I recently made some cards, so I shall write one to her, and drop it off as I leave for work, reminding her that we are thinking of her. I’ll also try to get across to see her at the weekend.

40 ACTS ::4

ACT 4: MEET UP

Once you start opening your heart and hands to the needs of others around you, you’ll find you want to open your home, too. Invite people to get together, either at your house or elsewhere. Use it as a chance to pray for each other or just a chance to be hospitable.

Green: Offer to share your table, wherever that might be.

Amber: Send round the invitations to your place and get the kettle on or arrange a meet up at a café. If you get tongue-tied when it comes to talking about your faith, the Talking Jesus course will help.

Red:Offer your home to meet up once a week through Lent, and perhaps beyond – you could use our 40acts small group studies as a focus. Also, HOPE’s giveaway magazine HOPE for All makes a great conversation starter with guests – leave a copy on your coffee table.

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others…” (1 Peter 4:9–10 NIV)


But what is the heart of this Act? I need Helen Saying !
Her comments on 40 Acts last year always seemed to get to the very heart of the Acts, instead of skimming the surface like I do! I suppose this is about being willing to be open, to be vulnerable and to share your faith. But somehow I find the meditation and the Acts a bit disparate – they don’t really mesh together that well…
STILL…whether or not I complete this act, as long as I continue to be open to being generous in other ways, that’s fine.
As for yesterday’s Act, I made some biscuits for friends; but they were disappointingly “meh” (the biscuits, not the friends!), so we’re not giving them. What a shame, we’ll have to eat them ourselves…
But we are aking a couple of friends, Louis & Odette, for regular readers) to join us tonight at the restaurant next door. It re-opened with new owners yesterday, so we’re going to show our support. Also, as L&O saved us a lot of problems by lending us their car when Happy-the-Fiat died, we want to buy them dinner to say Thank You.

40 Acts :: 2&3

Oh, goodness! I’m already playing the “catch up” game, and we’re only on day 3!!

ACT 2: HANDS IN

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into situations that need your help. Over-flowing bins? Empty toilet roll on the holder? Don’t think twice, just sort it. Easy fixes are good practice, but if the task takes you out of your comfort zone, even better.

Green: Do the washing up – even if it’s not your turn.

Amber: Whether it’s emptying the bins or cleaning the toilet, do that one job nobody likes.

Red: Offer to do some gardening for someone who’s been struggling to manage it or help declutter a room.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.(Proverbs 11:25 NIV)

Last year, I was able to take the opportunity to wash up the cups at the language school where I work…since then, they’ve got a dishwasher, so there’s no washing up to be done! I did clear up a bit of debris left by the school children who are having an intensive course, but there wadn’t much else to be done…

I filled the staplers (yes, usually, if they’re empty I’ll tut and use a paper clip!!) as Claire complained that she’s the only one who does it! But it was hardly a difficult job.

And I tried to cheerfully put away the washing up that had been done at home, but not been put away. I’m not sure I quite managed the “cheerfully” part, but at least the only person I moaned to was God, and he can survive that!

But I think this act is certainly one of the ongoing ones – it’s not like tomorrow I’m going to walk past those things that need doing, because we’ve moved on to a different act! They’re still going to be there to do tomorrow…and the next day…And God will continue to remind us to do those things…

ACT 3: TREAT

If you’re in the blessed position to receive a salary, the few days between being paid and the bills going out offer a great opportunity to give a ‘payday treat’ to someone else. Instead of focusing on your needs and obligations, turn your attention to someone nearby. Not in work at the moment? Join in with friends and think home-spun.

I made a box and I can’t get rid of it!!!

Green: Take cakes or biscuits with you to share.

Amber: Suggest drinks or dinner after work to celebrate the end of the month.

Red: Think of someone who’s in need of a treat and get them something special or take them out to the cinema or for a meal.

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.’”

(Mark 12:41-44 NIV)

This came a bit late for me to action today – an early start on Friday means I’ve left the house before the email pings into my inbox. I’ve only just read it (I have a break between lessons, giving me a chance to do some admin and write this blog post) so I think this act will be held over. I’m not working on Monday, so maybe I’ll make a cake or some biscuits then, to take into work, or over the weekend I’ll make something as a treat for someone…It’s not a difficult one.

The reflection (click on the link above to read it)  does link back to what I said on Wednesday however: I think for me the last part “when it is in your power to act” is important: I need to recognise that I can do more than I think I can (monetarily, as well as giving time or talents) I have a tendency to think “I can’t afford it” and to keep my hands in my pockets…but we probably CAN afford it.

This isn’t asking for an enormous outlay, but it is asking for something, but it’s a something I can afford. There’s a few families at church that are probably struggling more than I really know. Perhaps a MacDonald’s gift card would be a nice gift for one of them. While I don’t think that MacDonald’s is the healthiest of options, the kids would probably like it!! I don’t think I’m going to church this week, but I’ll try and sort it out for the following Sunday.

And we’re off! 40Acts :: 1

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”
(Proverbs 3:27 NIV)

 

This is the verse to hold onto through this year’s 40 Acts.

I think for me the last part “when it is in your power to act” is important: I need to recognise that I can do more than I think I can (monetarily, as well as giving time or talents) I have a tendency to think “I can’t afford it” and to keep my hands in my pockets…but we probably CAN afford it.

This always makes me pause for thought:

It reinds me that while I don’t feel wealthy, I am indeed richer than 92% of the world. That is a sobering thought, when I tell myself I can’t afford to give to a charity, or help someone, or buy a trteat for a friend…

So, this verse will be with me through 40 Acts

Still breathing!

I’ve become very lazy about blogging. I’m sorry…But to be honest there’s not been much to blog about. Work, cleaning, ironing, watching TV.

But, in a month I’ll be trying to blog most days. Why?

Because…

40 Acts is starting again!!!!

I’ll be preaching (or maybe I should say “giving an all age talk”) about it next week, trying to encourage parents to do it with their children, and adults to follow it too. Maybe we’ll have a Lent group too, but I don’t know. We’ll see how interested people are. I will be posting my talk on the Christ Church sermon site if you want to read it.

If you’re a new reader, and you’re wondering what I’m burbling on about, then head on over to here which will explain it a little more. If you’re planning on following, please do mention it in the comments – I’d love to know who else is “playing along”!

I may even write another post this weekend.

But don’t hold your breath!

Summing up 40 Acts

While I don’t want to say “Hey! Aren’t I great?!” I thought I wanted to do a summing up of 40 Acts and what I did. It’s more to encourage myself, I think AND to remind myself that there are things I still need to do, as well as to see that there were lots of small actions which made a difference. There are one or two other actions I diid which haven’t really fitted in to the chart, and there are two blank days when I didn’t do anything…

Some of the remaining actions are on-going things, and others are one-offs which need to be fulfilled…

 

  ACT WHAT I DID

 

WHAT I STILL HAVE TO DO
1 PLEDGE Continued to blog about 40 Acts & to encourage others as they blogged  
2 PEOPLE WATCH   Purposely look for opportunities to be generous
3 PERIOD POVERTY Gave sanitary protection to the Food Bank collection at church  
4 CASH STASH   Keep an extra 5€ back a month to give to charity
5 BLESS THE BOSS  Gave a card to Melissa & Thomas, and flowers & card to Claire.  
6 CHOCOLATE TUESDAY Bought chocolates for students at Bonjour World  
7 JOYFUL, JOYFUL!   The joy of the Lord is my strength… to remind me not to get grumpy!
8 BRING LIFE Encouraged others to give blood by posting on FB.  
9 BE PRESENT Went to see Charlotte & made time to go to Monique’s too.  
10 DROP EVERYTHING Gave shawl to Charlotte and (later) cross to Angel  
11 HIDDEN HEROES  A couple of boxes of biscuits to the PO people. A chance to talk about 40 Acts  
12 PRAYER CIRCLE  Helped a young Serbian woman by buying nappies etc for her.  
13 NEEDS MUST Washed up for Bonjour World and have continued to do so.  
14 GREEN   Buy – and use – beeswax covers rather than clingfilm.
15 LEG UP Gave my pay for 1 lesson to PC4R and offered to do a zentangle Highland Cow zentangle
16 DIRTY HANDS   Not look the other way when the cat trays need changing!!
17 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Cards & gifts for Lunch Bunch helpers  
18 BROTHERS & SISTERS Cards and letters sent to persecuted Christians in Cuba  
19 NEXT DOOR Cup cakes made for Roland & Marion & the children.  
20 CLOSE TO HOME    
21 FROM YOUR SEAT Some encouraging/ Thankful messages sent  
22 OPEN INVITE e-card sent to friends to say I was thinking about them.  
23 GRIN Bought croissants etc for students/staff at Bonjour World  
24 LOST SIGNAL   Write letters!!!

 

25 ROADWORK AHEAD Prayed for my Wednesday students

 

 
26 WITHOUT BORDERS Told people about PC4R and set weekly reminder for the Friday Conga  
27 DISAPPEARING ACT Placed some Ninja notes around Paris. Ninja Parking meter!

 

28 CLEAR THE DIARY Gave time to prepare canapés; gave extra time at our table in the Cathedral.  
29 ANYTHING ELSE?   Write to hospital to offer services/ cards for English speaking chemo patients.
30 YIKES!    
31 HOPE FOR THE HOMELESS Nothing too overwhelming – gave a bit more than usual to a beggar.  
32 BETTER THREADS   Try to be a bit more thoughtful about my clothes buying. Do I NEED it?
33 BIG DEAL Giving time – made cookies for Raphaelle’s family  
34 ADOPT Plan to give cross to Angel and to have coffee with Rabab  
35 I-SPY   Have a conversation with people you don’t know – engage more!
36 COMPASSION Continue to pray for those close to me who are suffering – COMMITMENT! Continue to pray for those close to me who are suffering – COMMITMENT!
37 SEEK OUT   I know & God knows. Enough said.

 

38 BEHIND BARS Wrote cards & letters to three Christians imprisoned for their faith.  
39 70 x 7   Living with constant forgiveness of others. Bonhoeffer quotation.
40 THE NOW & NOT YET Coffee and talk with Rabab.  

All in all, I found this year’s 40 Acts to be encouraging and inspiring. It was a honour to have been asked to write a reflection for them, which seemed to be well-received. I enjoyed “meeting” other bloggers, and also catching up with others from past 40 Acts blogging. I felt that perhaps there were a few too many monetary based challenges, but – of course! – there is nothing stopping us 40 Act-ers going “off piste” and finding another time/talent based act to do!

There is something written by Baptist minister and Civil Rights campaigner Howard Thurman which speaks about after Christmas:

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 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 people,
To make music in the heart.

Equally I think we could say:

When the chocolate has been eaten,

when we have gone back to work,

when the wonder of the stone rolled away has faded,

the work of Easter begins:

To proclaim resurrection life,

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

And so, let us begin.