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Christmas Doesn't Come From A Store- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

12.28.2006

I wish that I had remembered this talk earlier- like before Christmas was over. But it was still good to read. I found it last year when I was looking for material to use in a lesson I had to give at Enrichment, it made a huge impression on me. I was 4 weeks pregnant with Jack. I don't think I even knew I was expecting. Having cried the entire way through reading it should have been a good indicator that a little "someone" was altering my hormones. Anyway, it really made me feel Christmas in a different way. A more special way. Save it for next year.


Christmas Doesn't Come From A Store.
"..It is here I stumble, here that I grasp for the feelings a mother has when she knows she has conceived a living soul, feels life begin and grow within her womb, and carries a child to delivery. At such times fathers stand aside and watch, but mothers feel and never forget. Again, I’ve thought of Luke’s careful phrasing about that holy night in Bethlehem:

“The days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

“And (she) brought forth her firstborn son, and [she] wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and [she] laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:6–7; emphasis added).

Those brief pronouns trumpet in our ears that, second only to the child himself, Mary is the chiefest figure, the regal queen, mother of mothers—holding center stage in this grandest of all dramatic moments. And those same pronouns also trumpet that, save for her beloved husband, she was very much alone.

I have wondered if this young woman, something of a child herself, here bearing her first baby, might have wished her mother, or an aunt, or her sister, or a friend, to be near her through the labor. Surely the birth of such a son as this should command the aid and attention of every midwife in Judea! We all might wish that someone could have held her hand, cooled her brow, and when the ordeal was over, given her rest in crisp, cool linen.

But it was not to be so. With only Joseph’s inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay.
Then on both sides of the veil a heavenly host broke into song. “Glory to God in the highest,” they sang, “and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). But except for heavenly witnesses, these three were alone: Joseph, Mary, and the baby to be named Jesus.

At this focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched—none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen.

Shepherds would soon arrive and, later, wise men would follow from the East. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began.
(Jeffrey R Holland)

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