Bringing Joy to the World
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 'Tis the season to decorate, bake and share in festivities with friends and loved ones. Deck the halls, hang up the stockings, and bulk up on wrapping paper and bows.
Santa Claus is coming to town — but he's only been around since the 1840s, and we've got a bigger reason to celebrate. It's Jesus' 2013th birthday! Since He gave us salvation, the best gift of all, what are some gifts can we bring to Him this year?
Jesus encourages us to love one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12). What better way to show love than to spread the joy of Jesus' birth?
When I was young, I remember visiting the saints on Sunday afternoons. One particular Sunday near Christmas, my parents and I went to visit an elderly sister who was sick, and Dad brought her sacrament. After he gave her the Lord 's Supper and prayed for her, Mom suggested he read the account of Jesus' birth in Luke 2.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Is there any greater tiding (piece of good news) than the account of Christ's introduction to the world? I was young, but it was hard to hold back tears as I listened to the kindness in my father's voice as he delivered the marvelous story of the angels ministering to the shepherds, the wise men's travels, and the joy of Simeon and Anna as they beheld the Christ child. As the Sister listened to the story, her face lit up with the joy of Christ, and we were all teary-eyed and blessed before it was over.
Care to spread some good tidings of great joy?
Check out these gifts of love that celebrate Jesus' birth.
- Pass it on: Grab an extra turkey or pie at the market and drop it off at a young family's home.
- Give 'em some sugar: Pass out Christmas cookies to your neighbors or elderly saints.
- Google a local soup kitchen and feed the hungry for a night.
- Instead of writing letters to Santa, have kids write Happy Birthday cards for Baby Jesus.
- Sing carols through the halls of an assisted living center or hospital during visiting hours.
- Send a Christmas greeting or care package to a saint who is shut in.
- If you can play an instrument, take a trip to a local veteran's hospital, cancer center or hospice and play Christmas hymns. Trust me, even if you only know how to play one song, it will be a blessing to someone in need.
- Watch "The Nativity Story" (2006 film) in your MBA class, pausing to follow the storyline in scripture.
- Buy a cup o' joe for the person in line behind you, or sit and chat with a lonely face at the coffee shop.
- Assist someone putting their heavy groceries in their car.
- If it's raining or snowing, take an extra minute to share your umbrella with a stranger.
- Surprise carolers on the street corner with a hot beverage to warm their vocal chords. If you feel daring, join in for a verse or two!
- Anonymously shovel an extra drive on your street or wipe someone else's car windshield.
What Christmas acts of kindness have you seen or participated in that reflect the love of Jesus to others?