Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Applegate Mavys, Second String - by jason

Tonight, as a family, we watched the LDS First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Of course it wasn't live as it actually was broadcast two weeks ago. But this was our first chance to see it. The lights in our home were turned off except for the Christmas Tree. The kids all sat quietly while we listened to the beautiful music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. One by one each of the boys fell asleep and I was filled with joy at being able to gather with my family at Christmas time celebrate the birth of our Savior through music and inspiring words from our church leaders.

I've reflected lately on why I  feel differently at this time of year than others. Why does the "Christmas Spirit" invade my heart and mind at this time of year and not so much the rest of the year. I know that Jesus Christ IS the Son of God, that he resurrected the third day after he was crucified, that he suffered for the sins of all who would repent, so that we could return to our Father in Heaven. And that knowledge effects how I live my life. And logically December shouldn't be any different.

But it is. Maybe you know why. Or maybe you have your own reason why. One reason why I feel different is because of the many happy memories I have of this time of year. From childhood to adulthood to parenthood, so many memories make this the best time of year, remind me of friendships with people that are far away, and this season gives the promise that there is hope for many more great memories.

Perhaps the biggest reason that it feels different is because, inspite of world events, there is a greater measure of peace on earth and goodwill to men in our communities at this time of year. Eleven months out of the year Christmas, Christ really, seems to be forgotten by popular culture and the main stream media. But come Black Friday, before in some cases, the music we all know and love is pumped out by many radio staions and in the majority of retail establishments (it causes us to part with our money more freely). And I'm not against it at all. I've realized it brings me joy knowing that so many people around me whom I don't know are celebrating with me, that we are unified in some small way in our faith in Christ. And the fact that we can publicly worship in song and tradition is one of the greatest blessings we enjoy in this land.

Merry Christmas everyone.