I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. This year, as I have pondered many things and learned a great deal, I have been able to more fully focus on the true meaning of Christmas. As the great Dr Seuss said, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”
This Christmas season has been wonderful, and somehow has especially touched my heart. Perhaps it was my heart’s longing for a White Christmas. Perhaps it was that I was away from home for most of it, and the words of “I’ll be home for Christmas,” resonated with me. Perhaps it was that the little family that I had created away from home would soon be saying their goodbyes. And perhaps it was the constant thought of future Christmases. Next year, I will spend Christmas in Idaho, and my sole purpose in life will be to “spread Christmas cheer,” to spread good tidings of great joy, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I believe the latter has impacted me most. I continuously contemplate and attempt to anticipate what it will be like in the mission field, but no matter how I try to visualize, I won’t be able to fully understand it until I am there. And so, instead I choose to focus on my purpose, my reason, my drive. My love for my Savior is truly the reason I am serving Him. The love I have for Him translates into a love for His gospel and a love for His people, a love for all people.
I am only reminded of this love at a time of year when we sing of Him, rejoice in His birth, and reflect on His life. We hear of His miraculous conception, His humble birth. We hear of poor shepherds and mighty wise men worshipping Him. We hear of angels singing His glory. I’d like to think that even though I didn’t visit the Bethlehem stall as a wise man or a shepherd, and may not have even been one of the angels, I can still worship at His feet, still singing praises unto Him. I can still come unto Him. He truly is the gift, the greatest gift ever given. He is the gift that never stops giving, the gift for each and every one of us. But, as with any other gift, we can’t simply accept it and put it on a shelf in hopes that that will be enough. We need to use this great gift in our lives every day. It is my wish this Christmas to more fully accept this gift of endless love throughout the coming year and throughout my life. I invite each of you to do the same. I know that as you strive to come unto him, this time of year and always, you will be blessed. He is the gift