Last weekend we interrupted our holiday rhythms to go to Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday for a Latter-Day Saint missionary homecoming. My 20-year-old nephew, Connor, had been gone for two years. His message was meaningful and relevant to me–in all of our Christmas celebrating keep Christ in the center of our lives. Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. Connor gave many examples from his mission in Maryland in the United States and Honduras, where people who kept Christ in the center of their lives felt peace and joy, and that their lives had a purpose.
How do we keep Christ in the center of our lives?
- In my church calling one of the things I am supposed to do is have a ministering interview with twenty or so women every quarter. This means I am supposed to ask how they are connecting with their assigned sisters. A young mother that I visited with said, “Is there a place for me in the church? My father keeps telling me the way to stay connected is reading the Book of Mormon every day.” That lit me up because I have been telling my children the same thing–“Read the Book of Mormon! Even if you only read one verse a day.” The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and His teachings and ministry are contained in its verses. Try having a tiny habit of reading one verse or more a day, and see how long you can keep your streak going. I have done this and I love it!
- Yesterday I went to visit a woman who took care of my elderly, childless aunt for eight years. Jackie is from the Philippines and she is very caring and diligent. She is now taking care of an elderly couple and has no transportation for herself so she has to get rides everywhere. Because of this she could be very isolated and lonely but people are drawn to her. She has a large network of friends from my aunt’s ward that still take her places and watch over her. We realized as we sat that we have know each other since 2007 and have had many poignant and difficult times that have bound us very tightly together. Taking time to visit her actually meant so much to me. I realized how neglectful I have been and how wonderful it was for me to be with her.
The Christmas spirit of Christ actually reminded me to make a visit. I believe we can feel more peace and purpose this season as we intentional study the Book of Mormon and think of ways to serve others as Christ does.
I love this song:
Here are the lyrics:
There is peace in Christ. When we learn of Him, Feel the love He felt for us, When He bore our sins. Listen to His words, Let them come alive
If we know Him as He is, There is peace in Christ
He gives us hope
When hope is gone
He gives us strength
When we can’t go on
He gives us shelter
In the storms of life
When there’s no peace on earth, There is peace in Christ
There is peace in Christ
When we walk with him Through the streets of Galilee To Jerusalem
Mend the broken hearts
Dry the tear-filled eyes
When we live the way He lived There is peace in Christ
This is the meaning of Christmas for me. Merry Christmas!