So, it's coming up to that perfect time of year that everyone loves, including missionaries, especially with the opportunity to skype home and see those beautiful Robbo Family faces once again!!!!! As you can tell I'm pretty stoked about it!!!!
As promised, now that the email thing won't be as often as I wanted I really wanted to wish each of you an awesome Christmas!!!
In my personal study this morning I'm currently reading Jesus the Christ by James E Talmage, and I'm up to the part about the Birth of Christ! Perfect timing, if I do say, that this chapter comes up at the beginning of this special week!!
I'm pretty sure I've shared something from Präsident Kohlers weekly emails before, but this weeks was focussed on Christmas and I couldn't have put it better if I tried. He says:
"The Christmas season is a beautiful time of year. People love the excitement found in the spirit of giving, the relationships of family and friends, and the special activities and decorations. This spirit of Christmas can be celebrated in many, all good, but not equally significant levels.
One level is the “Santa Level.” This is the level that children really love. It’s the level of Christmas trees, wrapped packages, secrets, special food, and parties. It is filled with carolers, excited children and exhausted parents. We are generous to the less fortunate. It is a special time in which we eat too much, spend too much, and do too much and enjoy it without seeming to be able to get enough. We love this level of Christmas for good reasons.
But there is a higher, a more beautiful and significant level. This is the “Silent Night Level.” This is the level of our sacred Christmas carols and the scriptural account of a crowded inn and the Savior’s birth in a lowly stable. The angelic proclamation of good tidings of great joy and a new star in the East that wise men follow in search of the Holy One. Without this level, the season is hollow, shallow, and commercial.
The trouble is, that these levels on their own don’t last. They can’t. They are too much, too intense, too extravagant. The tree dies, the candles burn down, and the weight gets put on. The wrapping is thrown out and the carolers burn out. We line up to exchange gifts and the dieting begins. The decorations get put away and the cleanup begins. But the lonely, the hungry, and the poor are still with us, perhaps more so than before. Even if strive to keep the baby Jesus in the manger all year long, in the end we will be disappointed and empty.
For Christmas to last all year, for its message to grow in beauty and meaning and purpose, for it to have the power to change lives, it must be celebrated on another level; the level of the “Adult Christ.” At this level – not as the infant child – our Savior provides his gifts of lasting joy, peace, hope, and salvation. It is at this level that he provides examples of love, giving, and forgiving. This is the creator, savior, and redeemer who weeps at man’s lack of affection and hate for one another. It is at this level we remember that he willingly suffered and gave his life for all men so we could repent and live again. This is the level where we take upon us his name, always remember him, and follow him in keeping his commandments. Accepting this invitation to follow him is the way – the only way (2 Ne 31.21) – to celebrate Christmas all year and all lifelong."
How true that is!!! As we approach this time of year, especially on Christmas Day itself, it is so important to remember the real reason we celebrate it, to try to get at and remain at the stage President calls the "Adult Christ" and "The Silent Night Level". It is because of Him that we celebrate this time of year! The Mormon Message we have at this Christmas time really sums it up in 4 beautiful words "Er ist das Geschenk" or in English "He is the Gift"!! Don't get me wrong, I love to be at the "Santa Level" and have fun and get filled up and be excited for the whole day, but as we focus on why we have Chrsitmas as we get to that "Adult Christ" level, I know that we will receive an even fuller sense of joy in our lives, that can last not just for Christmas, but for the whole year!!
I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the World, that through Him we can return to live with our Father in Heaven again one day! I am so grateful for this time of year to celebrate His birth. He is the Gift!!!!
If you haven't seen it yet... check it out at christmas.mormon.org
I hope you all have an amazing Christmas!!!
I love you all,
Elder Ammon Robertson x