Thursday, December 25, 2014

He Is The Gift

I've been trying to think of what I want to express about Christmas.
I've experienced a different Christmas season than I have in the past.  I'm not a genius by any means but I know the reason why.  This season I put much more of a focus on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.  It's easy for people who work in retail or business to get jaded about Christmas.  Christmas music starts sprinkling into our sound systems the day after Halloween.  The hours are longer, the stress higher, and the customers grumpier (which is sad). We reduce Christmas to a bottom line, something we just have to get through.
I really didn't want to fall into that trap this year.  So I started searching for ways to make the "spirit of Christmas" a focus for me.  I started with a 45 Day scripture study of the life of Christ.  I studied His birth, I studied His life, I studied the atonement, I studied His death.  I felt myself growing closer to my Savior and that in and of itself softens a heart to Christmas. It reminded me of a quote by Thomas S. Monson
"....may we ever reflect our gratitude for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ....He taught us how to pray.  He taught us how to live.  He taught us how to die.  His life is a legacy of love.  The sick He healed, the downtrodden He lifted, the sinner He saved.  Ultimately, He stood alone.  Some Apostles doubted; one betrayed Him.  The Roman soldiers pierced His side.  The angry mob took His life.  There yet rings from Golgotha's hill His compassionate words: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  Who was this 'man of sorrows' acquainted with grief?  Who is this King of glory, this Lord of lords?  He is our Master.  He is our Savior.  He is the Son of God.  He is the Author of our Salvation.  He beckons, 'Follow me.' He instructs 'Go, and do thou likewise.' He pleads 'Keep my commandments.'  Let us follow Him.  Let us emulate His example.  Let us obey His words.  By doing so, we give Him the divine gift of gratitude."
Christmas hymns have also always been a spiritual experience for me.  "O Come All Ye Faithful" literally makes me come undone.  Every time I hear those words "O come let us adore him Christ the Lord" I just lose it.  I have a vision of us all in heaven, waiting for the moment for our Savior to be born because we knew what that meant.  We knew that with Him on the Earth we could be saved.  That we could return to live with our families and we could have eternal life.  Oh how joyful we must have been.
I love Christmas.  I love everything about it but this year I especially loved the experience of celebrating the birth of my Savior.
Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Merry Merry Merry Christmas

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