Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Best Christmas Ever

My heart is so full today that if I don't tell someone, I might explode. So sorry but all my blog followers get to put up with another overlong discourse from me.

It's easy to get depressed or sad when we look at the world we live in today. The political, social and economic climate of the world and even this country is in turmoil. Which is what makes Christmas even more special to me this year. Because what we celebrate at Christmas is hope. The birth of Jesus Christ gave the world hope. Because of his Atonement on our behalf, we can have hope for a better and brighter future. We know that the sacrifice our Heavenly Father made of His only begotten Son, was for the benefit of the world. On that night though, 2000 some years ago, he was just a baby.

I can't help but draw parallels. Nine months ago a very special young woman made the ultimate sacrifice. She put aside her desires and placed her beautiful baby boy into my arms. It was the most bittersweet day of my life. I will never forget the love she had for him, or the look of heartbreak in her eyes as she chose to leave him with us and walk away. And yet, even though her great pain was evident, there was no discouragment or hopelessness. In fact, there was great hope in the room that day. Because of her sacrifice, she had benefitted so many lives including her own. Much like the sacrifice our Father in Heaven made by providing us Jesus Christ for a Savior. (I don't mean to sound blasphemous here, this is just how it seems to me. Can you tell me any human sacrifice that even comes close?)

In the midst of the civil war Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem that became one of my favorite Christmas Hymns. It speaks of the hope provided by the birth of the Savior and his eventual sacrifice.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
The old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of Peace on Earth Good Will to Men.
I thought how as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of Peace on Earth Good Will to Men
And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For Hate is strong,
And Mocks the Song
Of Peace on Earth Good Will to Men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail
With Peace on Earth Good Will to Men."
Then ringing, singing on it's way
The world revolved from Night to Day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime,
Of Peace on Earth Good Will to Men.

Today we'll celebrate our usual family traditions. We'll bake goodies and brave the snow to go caroling. In our case we'll celebrate a birthday and laugh at silly inside jokes no one else gets. And tomorrow we'll read the Christmas story from the New Testament, and we'll open gifts. We'll eat too much and play games. (And if it's a good year, we may even get a little karaoke in.)

But although I appreciate all of that very much, in the long run, none of it matters. This is already the best Christmas we've ever had. Because of the gift of our Savior and the sacrifice of one special young woman, I've already recieved the two greatest gifts anyone could ask for. Everything is, is just icing on the cake.

Merry Christmas to all!

1 comment:

Darryl and Cindy said...

sweet tears of Joy! I love you. Merry Christmas!