When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What does Christmas mean?

I wonder, what does Christmas mean,
With its stars and shiny balls?
Is Christmas more than Christmas trees
And toys and games and dolls?
Of this I’m sure: There’s something more,
For I’ve heard many say
That in a strange and far-off land,
A child was born this day.
And Christmas is to celebrate
His coming from above.
He showed us how we all should live
And told us we should love.

As I read the account of the Savior's birth, the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to acquire a new depth of meaning: “Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself.”
The true Christmas spirit is never found in having things. It is about giving a part of yourself.  Taking the time out of your busy schedule to find the perfect gift.  Perhaps this is why giftcards seem to me to be 'cheating' in buying a gift.  I want to give the thing that shows the receiver how much they mean to me.  I want to find the thing that will be more lasting in impact.

An unknown author wrote:
I am the Christmas Spirit.
I enter the home of poverty, causing pale-faced children to open their eyes wide in pleased wonder.
I cause the miser’s clutched hand to relax and thus paint a bright spot on his soul.
I cause the aged to renew their youth and to laugh in the glad old way.
I keep romance alive in the heart of childhood and brighten sleep with dreams woven of magic.
I cause eager feet to climb dark stairways with filled baskets, leaving behind them hearts amazed at the goodness of the world.
I cause the prodigal to pause a moment on his wild, wasteful way, and send to anxious love some little token that releases glad tears—tears which wash away the hard lines of sorrow.
I enter dark prison cells, reminding scarred manhood of what might have been, and pointing forward to good days yet to come.
I come softly into the still, white home of pain; and lips that are too weak to speak just tremble in silent, eloquent gratitude.
In a thousand ways I cause the weary world to look up into the face of God, and for a little moment forget the things that are small and wretched.
I am the Christmas Spirit.

As I read these words, I am reminded that there is no Christmas spirit without our help.  The spirit of Christmas is the Love of God.  As we seek to share with others this love, than can our hearts be turned toward Him.  This is the Christ spirit. The Christmas season seems to prompt within us the yearning to both seek the Savior and to be a little more like Him. 
This search for Jesus is not new.  In the Book of Mormon times, Moroni emphasized the importance of this search: “And now I, Moroni, bid farewell. … I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written.” (Ether 12: 38, 41).  In the Old Testament times, Isaiah declared: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;  Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14).   And again, “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, Counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).
 Then came that most Holy of all nights when the angel of the Lord came upon shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock, and said, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke2:11)
Did these shepherds, stop and worry about their sheep, or their possessions, or what their neighbors would think about them?  Did they procrastinate their search for the child of God?  The scriptures tell us that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem. … And they came with haste.” (Luke 2:15,16)
What are you worried about this season?  Are you coming "with haste" to the manger to worship Him?  Or are you busy with other things?  Are you emmulating the "Christ Spirit"?  Or are you more concerned with the world and what it thinks?

President Thomas S Monson has said, "Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. To us He has said, “Come, follow me.”
As we seek to follow Christ, we shall have the Christmas spirit.  Not just one day, but everyday.  We have His spirit as we learn to forget ourselves and turn out hearts and our minds to others.  
These times in which we live can be so difficult for us.  Yet there is no shortage of opportunities to forget ourselves and think of others.  There are so many out there who need our help and our hands.  There is so much good to do! 

No comments:

Post a Comment