Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 12- Christ

I am the Christmas Spirit—
 I enter the home of poverty, causing palefaced 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 old glad 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 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 be. 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. 
May we each discover anew the Christmas spirit—even the Spirit of Christ.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 11 - The Manger

I think the manger is a little over looked when it come to the significance of it. They were in a stable and it was probably the cleanest place for Mary and Joseph to make a bed for the Savior. I like what ElderRussell M. Neilson said, “French speakers will recognize that manger means “to eat.” A manger is a trough or an open box in a stable designed to hold feed for animals.” What great incite! In John 6:35 Jesus himself says, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger.” From the very start of His life He was teaching us to come unto Him. So tonight I ask you; are you coming unto Christ? Are you partaking of His teachings so that your soul is full? May you remember His teachings when you look at the Nativity.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 10- The Star

The first Christmas star announced to the world that the Savior had been born and exactly where his birth had been. Today we put up hundreds of lights to shine in the dark nights telling all the world that we believe, and inviting others to share in the message of his birth. He is the Light of the World.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 9- Shepherds

It is interesting that the Angel appeared to shepherds. Men who knew how important it was to listen and then to follow instructions. When the angels finished and were 'gone away' they said to each other, "Let us now go". We too can go now and do those kind of promptings that we receive from the Lord to bless other's lives.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 8 -Donkey

When I think of the Donkey that carried Mary that long way, I can’t help by think of service and love. Mary, in her weakened condition, could not have made the journey walking. She needed help. I’m sure it wasn’t easy carrying the pregnant woman but the donkey did it. It might seem like a small act to some, but for Her I’m sure it was immeasurable. It is the little acts of service and love that matter the most. I hope during this wonderful time of year you can reach out to someone, to serve and to love them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 7- The Sheep

In our church there is a lot of symbolism attached to the sheep. Not necessarily the sheep that might have been there the night that our Savior was born, but sheep in general. I really like what Elder Robert D. Halessaid in the October 2012 Conference, “This is the call of Christ to every Christian today: “Feed my lambs. … Feed my sheep”—share my gospel with young and old, lifting, blessing, comforting, encouraging, and building them, especially those who think and believe differently than we do. We feed His lambs in our homes by how we live the gospel: keeping the commandments, praying, studying the scriptures, and emulating His love. We feed His sheep in the Church as we serve in priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations. And we feed His sheep throughout the world by being good Christian neighbors, practicing the pure religion of visiting and serving the widows, the fatherless, the poor, and all who are in need.” Are we feeding His lambs?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 6 -Wiseman 3

The third thing I want to tell you about what I have learned from the wise men comes from what they did after they met Jesus and gave him their gifts. In Matthew 2:12 is reads, “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
The wise men listen to the promptings of the Lord and they went a different way home. Sometimes in our lives the Lord tries to tell us, or warn us, of things pointing us to go in a different direction. It’s not always easy to follow what the Lord tells us to do, but it is always for our good and/or for the good of others around us. Next time you feel a prompting from the Lord, even if it is pointing you in a direction you hadn’t planned on, follow the Lord and all will be well in the end.                                

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 5- Wiseman 2

Wise men from the East had been watching for sings to know that Jesus had been born. When they saw the new start int he sky they knew it was what they had been looking for. In our lives we, too, should be looking to the future and being wise in the way we live our lives.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 4- Wisemen #1

"Go and search diligently for the young child" Mathew 2:8
Are you still searching for Christ everyday in your life?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 3 - Mary

What an exciting and humbling time for Mary. Her life changed forever after the visit with the angel Gabriel. It was certainly harder than it might have seemed to be. I am sure it was a trying time for her as well. But she had a testimony of God and she was wiling to do whatever He asked of her. God asks us to do things in our lives, sometimes it may seem too hard. But it is our privilege to have our lived dedicated to Him. May we say as Mary did, "My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 2 - Joseph

When I think of Joseph I think of courage, faith, and devotion. He could have left Mary, who he was espoused to. But he didn't.  I don’t know what it was like in those days. I don’t know if people gossiped like they do now. But I think it took a lot of courage to stand by Mary’s side.
I love what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said about Joseph, “As a father, I have thought often of Joseph—that strong, silent, almost unknown man who must have been more worthy than any other mortal man to be the guiding foster father of the living Son of God. It was Joseph selected from among all men who would teach Jesus to work. It was Joseph who taught him the books of the Law. It was Joseph who, in the seclusion of the shop, helped him begin to understand who he was and ultimately what he was to become.”
As parents do we take the sacred responsibility of raising our children to be the adults that Heavenly Father would want them to become?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 1- The Stable

It's that wonderful time a year again. The time we get to count down to an amazingly celebrated day, the day that the Savior of the world came to the earth. He would later suffer and die for all of us. It is on this day that we rejoice that He chose to do it for us.

As I've pondered more about the circumstances of His birth, I am at awe of Mary and Joseph. Here they were in an unfamiliar city, not knowing anyone, and there wasn't a place for them to stay. Having given birth to three children of my own, I'm sure she was already in labor while they were searching the town for a bed. How frantic Joseph must have been once they had found the stable that Mary would later give birth in. Not only did he need help comfort his new wife in her hour of deep pain, but he also had to clean up the straw and other dirty things that we can only imagine were there from the animals. I can not picture what a mess it truly was. All that we ever see is the clean manger that the baby Jesus was laid in after He was born.

So this year as you look at the different variations of the Nativity scene, try to imagine how it truly must of been for the son of God to be born in. Another one of His many sacrifices on our behalf.