Happy Christmas!

My brothers and sisters, true love is a reflection of the Savior's love. In December of each year, we call it the Christmas spirit. You can hear it. You can see it. You can feel it. 
- Thomas S. Monson

Today is Christmas.  

This is the calm before the storm of excitement and exclamation, of shouting and shaking of presents.  It's the moment of peace before our living room is filled with the sounds of wrapping paper being discarded in a flurry.  

There are so many difficult things that they will face in life, but for now, I just want my kids to be children for a while, to feel joy and wonder and to receive the gifts they've been given.  

I wonder if this is how God feels.  

I imagine God does feel this way.  How could God not?  Maybe the reason I feel these feelings of anticipation and happiness over the joy of my children is that I have been created to feel them--created in the image of the One who felt them first.  

In the Genesis story, we read that God creates and then calls his creation "good."  He decides it is "not good for man to be alone," so he creates a companion.  All throughout the Bible, we see examples of God giving gifts to God's children.  He gives them the gift of freedom from slavery, the gift of land where they can live and prosper, and so much more.  

And, as our Jewish brothers and sisters would say, God also gave the gift of the Torah--the first five books of the Bible. 

But then God does something extraordinary.  God gives the gift of himself, in the form of a tiny baby, born in a stable, laid in a manger.  His only attendants that day were dirty shepherds from the fields--outcasts, people from the margins to proclaim the coming of a God who is tired of the status quo.  

Brothers and sisters,  this gift, this great gift of eternal life (both now and forever) through Jesus Christ is the kind of gift that God can't wait for us to open.  You see, God knows what this gift can do for us, how it can change our lives right here and now.  God can't wait for us to experience it.  

Because God knows when all of us realize just how much we need this gift--it will change everything.  

May you experience the joy of the greatest gift of all on this Christmas Day.  May you feel the very love of Christ reflected in the love that is all around you.  May you become like a child, full of excitement and pure happiness as you embrace the gift of full, beautiful, eternal life in Christ.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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