Shepherd’s why this jubilee
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bending knee
Christ the Lord the newborn King.
(Angels We Have Heard on High circa 1862)
How far are we willing to travel to see the Lord? How much would we sacrifice? The shepherds came in from the fields, weary and hoping their flocks would be OK. They would not be there if even one sheep let out a “baa” of need. The magi traveled a great distance which cost them money as well as time, but they felt the sacrifice worth it. They studied. They watched. They prepared. They came bearing gifts, though the gift they received could not be matched.
We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.
Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshiping God on high.
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.
Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Sounds through the earth and skies.
(We Three Kings of Orient Are by John H. Hopkins, Jr)
So this Christmas season, while we rush about shopping for Christmas, giving gifts to those we love, preparing cards for mailing, baking treats to share with friends, decorating trees, driving to see the various holiday displays, remember that this is a blessed time. A time where we received the most wonderful gift we could ever give.
The gift of love, the gift of service, the gift of life. These are the gifts Christ gave to us when he came to earth. Today, I need to continue to pay these gifts forward. Loving my family, my friends, my neighbour. Serving those who are in need in my ward, in my neighbourhood, in our community. What do you need to do?
I am grateful for the holiday season that I love so much. For all it represents. For all that we do at this time. I am grateful for the prophets teaching us. I am thankful for the Scriptures to lead us as the stars once lead the wise men. I am eternally grateful for the Savior and His gifts. I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.