24th December 2015
As we´re looking forward to hear from Amy on Christmas Day and this phone call being very special to us...I know she would like me to share this with you:
It was a spring night more than two millennia ago and quiet on the hills of Bethlehem. Certain shepherds stood watch over the ewes on the hills, awaiting the arrival of lambs in this season of lambing. These men had a unique commission to watch for the birth, of these particular lambs and keep them safe.
From the writings of Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915-1985) we learn: "These were not ordinary shepherds nor ordinary flocks. The sheep there being herded-nay, not herded, but watched over, cared for with love and devotion- were destined for sacrifice on the great altar in the Lord´s House, in similitude of the eternal sacrifice of Him who that wondrous night lay in a stable, perhaps among sheep of lesser destiny.
When the Savior was born, His birthplace, Bethlehem, was near these special flocks of sheep spoken of in Luke chapter 2- close enough, in fact, for the shepherds to soon find the infant. We read that "they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manager."
This month we are immersed in the commemoration of the Savior´s birth through song, gatherings, testimonies, and spirit. What patterns do we find in the events of Christ´s birth that can apply to us today?
We rejoice and ponder the mighty event of our Redeemer´s arrival to earth, made all wondrous by the extreme humility of His earthly circumstances. He, born near fields of lambs, was to become the Great Shepherd of us all. Are we not His under-shepherds today?
What would happen if we, as teachers, learners, parents, and followers of Christ, took upon us the patterns of Christ? What decisions and actions would we make or change if we took seriously
Christ´s admonition to "Come, follow me?
Pres Howard W. Hunter: "This Christmas, mend a quarrel...Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."
By such Christlike service and with the Savior´s grace we can become His true under-shepherds, bringing others into the fold of God.
Let us nurture His flocks, our friends, fellow members, and families with love and sacrifice. As did the shepherds of old, may we come to Him with haste and then go our way glorifying and praising God.
Merry Christmas from our home to yours where-ever that may be.