What We're REALLY Celebrating During Christmas
A bishopric member in our ward is an actor, he flew open the door dressed as a shepherd during my YW’s Christmas lesson. He was so excited to tell us that the Savior had been born, the star is in the sky and we should all go with him to see! The girls laughed and stayed seated.
I wonder if someone really had ran into our class telling us Christ had returned— He’s here, it finally happened!—just like the shepherd we had in our class, (or in real life back when Christ was born), how many of us would have gotten up and followed him to go see? Or would we have stayed with what we were doing and justify it in our heads that it couldn’t possibly happen at all, or most definitely not right now could it happen. “I’m in the middle of something, why would He come right now?”(haha)
Also for my lesson, I cut out a star and taped it to the ceiling before class started. Halfway through my lesson, after our shepherd came in, I asked them if any of them had noticed it. Most of them did not.
But just because they didn’t see the star, doesn’t change the fact that it was there.
And similarly, just because there were those who didn’t notice the star when Christ was born, didn’t change the fact that it was there. Just because people didn’t believe it when they did “see” it, doesn’t change the fact that it was a greatly anticipated sign and prophesy was fulfilled and the Savior of the world really did come. And just because it came years and years after prophesy, and I’m sure some lost faith that it even will come at all, doesn’t change the fact that it was all still true and God had kept His promise.
When we celebrate Christ’s birth we’re celebrating everything that we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Him. If Christ wasn’t born, we wouldn’t have eternal families. We wouldn’t have resurrection or eternal life at all. We would die and that would be the end of everything. If it weren’t for Christ’s birth, we wouldn’t have real happiness. We wouldn’t have hope during trials or in our future. We wouldn’t have guidance. Warnings. Forgiveness. Repentance. Healing. Strength. Comfort. A chance to change. Miracles. Blessings. When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating all of these things, +more!
Like the star I put in our classroom, that perhaps just because we may not be looking or noticing, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
So as we plan and celebrate and ponder about the birth of Christ, I hope we choose every day in all our situations to look for the “star.” To look for Christ and those things that come because of Him. That we look for the promised signs given to us. Look for the promised blessings given to us. Look for the hope, guidance, comfort, and blessings that are always there because Christ was born. They are always there in every situation because Christ is always here, still. Alive. If we but look.
One of my favorite accounts of the birth is in 3rd Nephi. There was a day set that all the believers were going to be murdered unless the star came. They needed Christ to live. I can’t imagine the fear some of them had, a true test to see if what they believed in put to the test. Well, the sign came in the perfect timing, they were spared, and many converted.
But only a few short years passed and they began to forget the “signs and wonders” that they saw. Kind of like Elder Rasband talked about in his recent conference talk that, they began to doubt and question if what they even saw really happened at all.
Like the many, many years awaiting the star of Christ’s birth, let’s not allow passing time to bring doubt or loss of faith in what’s promised to us because it’s not in our time frame. Let’s not lose patience and miss out on what He has in store for us. Let’s stay confident in our patriarchal blessings, our priesthood blessings, and that which is said from prophet’s, apostles, scriptures and God himself.
Related article, “Wait For Your ‘Manger’,” about Mary and passing opportunities.
All of the promises, all of the blessings we are trying so hard to attain are all written in the scriptures as past tense, “prepared.” They’re already there! Heavenly father has already spent the time, the love, the work, and the effort in preparing the absolute best, ever created. And we can have it. Not just in the eternities, but here, daily, in mortality, if we just keep going and if we just look to Christ.
Perhaps our gift to Christ should be the gift of remembrance and focus and of faith in His time frame. Let’s not allow time or the adversary bring doubt or forgetfulness to the comfort and witnesses of truth and miracles of Christ that we have felt and experienced. Let us recognize that those feelings of hope and love and acts of forgiveness and the chance to change and become better and those feelings that we are not alone are from and because of Christ. That every day He is showing He is there for us. That we take time every day to look for, and write them down, lest we forget. And Satan wins. [And Satan really sucks, so let’s not do that 😉 ]
Let’s choose to have faith and not allow passing time to dim the truth and promises or prophecies given to us. Let’s choose have faith like those in 3 Nephi and expect and notice the “star”— notice those things listed above that we have from and because of Christ. Let’s live like the shepherds and move closer to Him. Let’s keep our promise to endure to the end and not forget which we have felt and experienced. This is the season where we should evaluate ourselves and make sure we are keeping our end of the promise that we made to our Savior, because He did.
This is all true and no matter what, God keeps His promises.
We find what we look for. Look for the good.
Look for the ‘star’—for Christ. Because He is there.
Every day. Because He still lives.
Laugh a lot & follow God,
“Sometimes the most precious and sacred things are right in front of us, in plain sight, but we cannot or will not see them… All of these spectacular displays and decorations that compete for our attention can be beautiful and uplifting, but if that’s all we see, then we’re missing something that’s in plain sight. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we fail to see with our hearts that which is essential and most sacred…
I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, we will find Him—on Christmas and throughout the year.” —Uchtdorf
Christmas is About Yourself (My very 1st sacrament talk)