25 December 2010

Christmas Grace

If you do not care to read religious blog posts, feel free to close this one now.  I don't mind.  Have a pleasant day.

For those of you still here, I wish you a Happy Christmas.  I recently finished rereading Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."  My favourite line in the book is when Bob Cratchit is speaking to his wife about Tiny Tim.  He says, "Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard.  He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and bind men see."

Tiny Tim put it well.  This Christmas season has given my family good cause to think of the Saviour.  We think of my tiny nephew, Tommy, who passed away this month and we remember on this Christmas Day He who suffered for our sins that we may be forgiven and then died and rose again that we may be resurrected.  At this time, when commercialism has flooded the holiday, I am grateful to have this albeit somber reminder of the true reason we celebrate today: the gift of Christ and His atonement.

We remember the babe born to Mary in the most humble of circumstances who, through His birth, brought us the gifts of grace and mercy, and of resurrection, and eternal life, and eternal families.  The Lord who brought healing in His wings (2 Nephi 25:13) and encircles us with the arms of His love (2 Nephi 1:15).

I had the opportunity to attend a Messiah Sing with my older sister before coming up to visit my in-laws.  I love so many of the scriptures used in Handel's Messiah but have selected just my favourite-favourite ones to share:

  • For, unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6
  • Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. [. . .] He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities [. . .] and with His stripes we are healed. -Isaiah 53:4-5
  • Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. - Revelation 19:6Revelation 11:15
  • But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. -1 Corinthians 15:20-22

It is indeed a "good tiding of great joy" that the Lord came into this earth.  I echo this day the angels who sang of His birth so many years ago: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14)

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