18 December 2014

Luke 2: The Christmas Story

I remember as a little girl I loved using my mom's scriptures. I didn't have my own set at this time and I always felt special holding hers. I would flip through the pages and look at all of the things she highlighted. One chapter that always stood out to me was Luke 2. This chapter was the most marked in her Bible with the words "Christmas story" written on the side. I'm no master scriptorian, but I've always remembered this chapter. I'm grateful for my mom's love of Christmas and her love of the Savior. This time of year is a special one; let us remember why we celebrate it!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

06 December 2014

That's Christmas to Me

Christmas happens every year, we all know this. Trees with lights, tinsel all around, fireplaces blazing (unless you're from Florida), and so much more make up the holiday season. But these past few weeks I've really been thinking about this holiday season and what makes it important. Is it all about the packages and bows the perfect gift? There is a greater meaning to Christmas I think we've all overlooked at one time in our lives because we get caught up in the spirit buying and receiving for Christmas.

Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Although this day wasn't the actual day He was born, it is the day we celebrate the wonderful Gift that a loving Heavenly Father sent to us. I remember one tradition my family does every year. On Christmas Eve a cake would be brought. We'd eat dinner, play games, and just be with family. Then, when the clock struck midnight we would gather around this manger themed cake and sing "Happy Birthday" to baby Jesus. Cheesy? Yes. But, we always knew why we were celebrating Christmas. I hold those memories dear, grateful for this tradition that focused my thoughts to my Savior.

Are you keeping Christ in Christmas? This Christmas season I challenge you to bring Christ back into Christmas. Remember that He is the wonderful Gift that we've been given and that because He was born we can live again. We can have second chances and we can have someone always on our side, no matter what. To me, that's the best gift there could ever be.