Suddenly, everyone stopped. Everything in the whole airport simply stopped. We stood for a minute of silence.
I realized in a new way that day, in today’s noisy and cluttered world, when there is something important to recognize, we stop.
We stop our routine. We stop our hustle and bustle. We stop our conversation, even digital communications.
That experience also reminded me that we can stop in different ways. We can stop but become impatient and frustrated at being interrupted. Some can stop but then use every second of the pause to re-calculate how to make up lost time. Best of course, we can stop and feel inspiration, hope, and gratitude.
Many responses are possible when we confront today’s busy and complex world. I find it deeply moving that, among many possible ways to address today’s troubling issues and concerns, our First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve invite us to make the Sabbath holy in our lives.
Our dear prophet President Thomas S. Monson recently noted with gratitude an increase in spirituality and that our sacred meetings reflect what our Saviour desires. President Monson asked us to invite those who could be “brought to the table of the Lord to feast on His word, to enjoy the companionship of His spirit, and to partake of the spiritual blessings that are available.” (General Conference leadership instruction, October 2016)
Especially at this Christmas season, many are looking for “Christ” in “Christmas.”
Especially at this Christmas season, we remember He is the Light of the World, as the holy scriptures testify.
In the Old Testament, the great prophet Isaiah Messianically declares: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)
The New Testament records our Saviour “came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day…” (Luke 4:16)
When Jesus “stood up for to read” … “he found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted; to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”(Luke 4:16-18)
Likewise, when John’s disciples inquired, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised upon, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11:3-5)
The Book of Mormon records the prophecies of Samuel, the Lamanite, were fulfilled at the time of Nephi: “Behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying: Life up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall be sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.”
Continuing, “Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son – of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall be the sign be given.” (Helaman 14:1-13) (3 Nephi 1:12-14)
Especially during this Christmas and New Year’s year, may we:
- stop and let our spirits catch up with our bodies;
- follow His example – including to lift, to share, to minister to the poor in spirit, the broken-hearted, them that are bruised;
- invite those who may be looking for the truth, but not know where to find it; (Doctrine and Covenants 123:12)
- invite, remembering President Monson, those who have felt the warmth of faith to come feel that warmth and welcome again at the table of the Lord.
In this special season, may we marvel again with gratitude that the King of Kings was born in a stable; that He lived a perfect life and offered an infinite and eternal Atonement; and that He died, came forth resurrected, and lives as our Lord today.
Each day further from the first Christmas is a day closer to His second coming.
In this special season, may we feel in our souls and offer with our hearts and hands good tiding of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10)
Truly, for unto us is born this day and each day– when we truly stop and always remember Him – a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)