Christ is the Center

I love the Christmas season. There is so much service to do and so many ways for me to be grateful for the birth of  my Savior.The 2nd of December, on bargain Tuesday, my husband and I saw the new Mr. Roger’s movie. The movie is different in that at the beginning the story veers off in an unexpected way. You are suddenly jolted into the story of an aggressive, angry  reporter trying to interview him, and how Mr. Roger’s love and attention helped heal some of the pain in the reporter’s life. Some of my favorite quotes from the movie is, “We have to keep trying” and “If it is mentionable, it is manageable”–meaning if we can talk about the pain in our life, instead of bottling it up, we can learn to become healed.

I have been thinking about the film all week, all the love and goodness that Mr. Rogers was and it wasn’t just for his show. He didn’t turn it off and turn it on just while filming. The movie shows how it was who he was, all the time. Someone told me that the director had to tell Tom Hanks, who played Mr. Rogers, that he kept talking too fast. To slow down. You can see him really listening as well. All of the good examples and insights from this movie added to my Christmas Spirit. Especially the slowing down part.

As I pondered Mr. Roger’s daily practice of habits, caring for others, taking the time to notice other people in his life, his careful pausing to pay attention to children, it brings me back to the Savior’s divine attributes, His character:Self -discipline, patience, curiosity, and love.

Last Sunday we discussed Elder Holland’s talk from last General Conference where he said this so well:

“As in our New Testament story, those blessed with sight will recognize that, in spite of everything else this conference tradition may offer us, it will mean little or nothing unless we find Jesus at the center of it all. To grasp the vision we are seeking, the healing that He promises, the significance we somehow know is here, we must cut through the commotion—joyful as it is—and fix our attention on Him. The prayer of every speaker, the hope of all who sing, the reverence of every guest—all are dedicated to inviting the Spirit of Him whose Church this is—the living Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace.”

My Christmas has become less about decorating my house, what presents I give or get, or even focusing on fun of many holiday parties and concerts. I am beginning to get a tiny glimmer of what Christmas is really about: the Savior’s gifts to us, his example of what character is, what taking time for people looks like, how to live in the present moment and feel the joy that is there. He sees, loves, forgives, atoned and died for me. I am grateful we can have a Christmas when we center on the Savior that leaves us fulfilled and joyful because of Him.

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