I LOVE Christmastime! It has always been a magical, spiritual time of year. I love the decorations, the treats, the music, the lights, and the remembrance of the Savior's birth. However, there is one thing that eats away at me: the "getting."
When I was a child, we didn't have much, yet Christmas did tend to focus on what we got, no matter how hard our mother tried to focus it on the Savior. This year, as I've wandered through stores, thinking of what the people on my Christmas list would enjoy and including my toddler in the preparations, I've tried to explain to her that we give gifts as Christmas as a reminder of the following:
"God so loved the world that he GAVE his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whose believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:!6, KJV)
There are not one, but two gifts mentioned in that powerful scripture:
1. God gave His Son.
2. His Son can give us Everlasting Life.
I'm not sure how you feel, but compared these two gifts, the ipods, DVD's, books, jewelry, or whatever else we "get" at Christmas mean absolutely nothing.
So I'm trying to take a different focus. I've been studying about how to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost in order to help others. Honestly, I don't think I'm very good at this, but I am motivated by something from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency:
“Disciples of Christ throughout all ages of the world have been distinguished by their compassion. … In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers” (“Happiness, Your Heritage,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119, 120).
I WANT to be a disciple. I'm sort of clumsy at it. But luckily I know that my efforts will be magnified by the Grace of my Savior, and if I focus on him this Christmas, and all year, and remember that this is His work, perhaps I can be an instrument in God's hands to help answer the prayers of His children.
That's my Christmas wish for this year. :)
Image found here.