Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Thoughts

The joys of Christmas cannot compare with any other day of the year.  The lights, the decorated trees, the shopping for gifts for the ones you love, sharing kindness and love with those around you, caring for others who you might not know, but can find love for all the same.  Charity does not fair, if it is done with the right spirit.  But what is it that we have forgotten?  What is it that gets lost in the glaze and excitement of the season’s commercial flare?  On this most wonderful night, this Christmas day, we need to remember this… the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
He was born in humble circumstances to teach us how to grow.  He did not come in glory and gold; instead he was delivered to us in a stable, among animals, in the straw, and lovingly placed in a manger (animal trough) because it was the cleanest place in the stable.   He grew up as the son of simple, hardworking carpenter, not as the son of an entrepreneur or king, and yet there is a lesson in that.  With work that is hard and requires a skill one can grow in some marvelously humbling ways.
He began to teach and to spread our Heavenly Father’s words, with a grateful and loving heart, at a tender age.  He searched out the meek, the homeless, the sick, and He looked for those opportunities to serve.  He endured persecution, and doubt in his word.  He was ridiculed, mocked, and chased away, and still he felt nothing but love.
His heart was pure.  His love was unconditional.  His capacity and ability to forgive knew no bounds.  He took upon himself the sins of the world, and bled from every pour.  He learned what it is to suffer with those pains, sicknesses and sorrow that we go through every day, but have you ever considered why?
He will be our judge and our advocate, our companion, our teacher, and our strength.  Could He do that without understanding, without, compassion, or empathy?
His love for us was so full that he was willing to allow every moment of his life and death to be an example to us.  When I think of that precious child, who came to this earth a pure and innocent as any ever could, I think of how the purpose of our lives can overcome any circumstance that we are born into.  I am overcome with emotion when I come to a deeper understanding of the purpose and example f our Savior’s life.
I am sorrowed deep into my core when I rediscover, in lessons and the scriptures), the suffering, persecution, pain, and torture He went through.  I am blown away to think that all this was done to offer us the best opportunity to grow, life, love, and overcome that He could give us.  The most beautiful thing of all is that he did it out of love, duty, and faith in our Heavenly Father’s plan.
He did all of this for us!
When we remember, during this holiday season, that small, innocent, precious baby, born to parents who were young, poor of wealth, faithful, frightened and humble, we need to remember His love for us.  It was no trick or chance, His humble birth.  It was not an unnecessary trial.  It was done for a purpose, with real intent to offer us a lesson in love.  There will be trials, bad days, and sorrow that feel as if it will have no end, but what we must try to always know is that this journey has already been lived by another.
When we struggle, he understands.  When we hurt he remembers how it felt.  When we lose our hope, weaken under strains of circumstance, or suffer the depths of sorrow.  He has felt what you feel now.  When the burden of sin; addiction, and choice, remember that He knows what that is.  When the world seems to have left you behind, and no one knows or cares any more, try to remember that there is one who knows our pain intimately, and stands by, waiting to come to your aid.  He loves you more than you can comprehend, and knows our potential for growth.  The purpose of his humble birth was to teach us to rise above.
At this holiday season try to bask in the warmth of his love, look to the star on top of the tree and let it guide you to where you can be.
Sing the carols with joy, as the angels above, and let the music take you away to the humble manger, on the night of our Savior’s birth, and celebrate the gift of his life.
As you snack on the candy, shaped like a cane, remember the shepherds who heard the news of the glorious Savior’s birth, and remember our shepherd, our lamb, our savior, or keeper.
As the gifts are exchanged, think of the celebration of the birth of our Lord.  When wise men, the kings of distant lands, who gave freely of those most precious gifts.  Remember the parents who loved Him so much that they devoted their lives to his growth.  And remember the tree, ever green, and full, and think of the love that He feels for us, because it is the same love that he feels for us, eternally.
No one has ever, could ever, or will ever desire for our joy as He will.
I hope that at this time of year, you will be mindful of the sacrifices He made for us.  Remember what He was willing to do and go through for us and know that when the world fails us, or leaves us behind, there is always someone watching over us, walking with us, supporting us, encouraging us, and holding us, no matter what happens.  Even when He cannot be near (because of the choices we make) He is never far.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!  I hope that it is a time filled with love and joy.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (whatever you celebrate), and I offer you fondest wishes for a very Happy New Year!
Love your grateful friend, Gail

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