"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." Luke 2:7
It's Christmas Eve. JOY and PEACE to the WORLD...
This is the night we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It's a time to reflect on the infinite love this Man showed each of us as He lived His life on this earth. It's a time to think of how He created the worlds, and still creates them, under the direction of His loving Father, our Heavenly Father.
As I look at our Christmas tree, with it's pretty lights, the years of handmade ornaments, the fun and love and care to make it look 'just right' again this year. I look at the presents, each one wrapped and given with love, just as the Magi gave to the Christ child with deep love and respect. My children are not little any more, but this year has brought a special excitement for them.
We have shared trials, and are now reaping the blessings of enduring. So many blessings from our Heavenly Father. I did not always endure quietly. I cried many tears, some of anger, some of pain, some of grief, but we made it and the Lord's mercy has covered my weaknesses. It is so good to have my husband back home with us and embarking on a whole new career.
I ponder in my mind the story from Helaman 14 in the Book of Mormon -Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The people in the Americas saw His Star, how could they not? And there is a record of that for which I am so grateful. They were told He would come to this earth...
Helaman CHAPTER 14
Samuel predicts light during the night and a new star at Christ's birth—Christ redeems men from temporal and spiritual death—The signs of his death include three days of darkness, the rending of the rocks, and great upheavals of nature.
About 6 B.C.
"1 AND now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy a great many more things which cannot be written.
2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.
3 And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.
4 Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.
5 And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
6 And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.
7 And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.
8 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.
And then the fulfillment of the Prophecy we can find in 3 Nephi 1:19-21
19 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
21 And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.
What 'stars' are we following?
I know I have much spiritual work to do in the coming new year, to become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ... to become more the person He knows I am inside.
As I walked in the cold, crisp air this morning, I could not but help think of those refugees in Afghanistan, and the homeless on the streets of cities all around the world, out in the cold without warm clothing. They cannot 'go indoors' into a nicely heated home.
I said a prayer for them, that more of us would feel it in our hearts this year, to help ALL those in need, whether near or far. There are so many.
Matthew 26:11 states:
"11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always."
As I think on this statement Jesus made, it occurs to me that this has many layers to its meaning, including that we DO have the poor with us always possibly because we don't have the Savior in our hearts always? Could it be because even in our own neighborhoods, we have the 'poor' among us but we turn our backs because it's inconvenient to help, or we don't want to part with our 'luxuries', or give a bit more, till it even hurts?
Maybe if we ALL had Christ with us always, we would not have any poor? Certainly if more of us had Christ with us, if we knew more of Him, if we read ALL the revealed scriptures and studied how the Master lived and then emulated that life, the world would be a better place and fewer people would suffer...
Well, I need to go get ready for Ward Choir, then back home to prepare for Church. I am singing a solo in Sacrament meeting and teaching Gospel Essential class today and am so looking forward to the honor of being asked to do both. =)
- 1 box Ritz crackers
- peanut butter
- chocolate chips, milk chocolate and a small amount parafin wax
- Colored sprinkles
Do this with as many crackers as you wish to make cookies. Melt about 2 lbs chocolate, with a handful of chocolate chips, and 1 TBsp of parafin wax (approximate--this hold the chocolate together and is used in most confectionary preparations). I melt my chocolate mixture in the microwave on high for 2 mins--stir after one minute.
Now carefully dip each Ritz 'cookie' in the chocolate and cover completely. Use a fork to lift the cookie out and let it drip off the excess chocolate for a few seconds. Now, place on a cookie sheet covered in waxed paper, and place some sprinkles on top of each cookie. Place the cookie sheet and cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes to set. These are so easy and SO delicious!
Love to all!! =)
HUG THE ONES YOU LOVE
Bev and family