What would the world be like without Christmas? What would it be like without Christ? Imagine with me for a minute on this Christmas Eve.
Think of Baby Jesus. He is why we are doing all this. Right?
But how do we even know about this baby? How many people actually personally interacted with Jesus, once of humble birth? If you add up the feeding of 5,000, the other miracles feeding and teaching the multitudes, His travels from Dan to Beersheba and among the Decapolis, His teaching at the temple, His capture, His public trial, His public crucifixion and when he appeared after his resurrection in Jerusalem. Even if you include His appearance to the “other sheep” we would probably be looking at not much more than 100,000 people, total. (Feel free to do the math better than I have).
If none of the 100,000 people having personally interacted with Jesus ever shared their experience, what would we know about Jesus. If the shepherds never spread the news abroad, who would have known of the baby Jesus? If Peter, Paul, James, John and all the apostles and prophets hadn’t preached and wrote and made their voices heard, who would know of Jesus, the Christ? If leaders and sages and reformers of the middle ages hadn’t spoken up, if Luther and Tyndale and Wycliffe hadn’t given their lives to put the Bible into the hands of the layman? If Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and kept it to himself.
What would Christmas be today?
Why do we know Christ today? Why do we celebrate His birth, life, teachings, atonement and resurrection? Why do we have a Christmas to celebrate?
Those who sacrifice to preach and teach and share. Those missionaries who put their lives on hold and preach full time. Those everyday member missionaries who #ShareTheGift from everywhere they are no matter who they are. Those who dedicate their lives to spreading the Good News – glad tidings of great joy. That Jesus is the Christ. That the birth of Jesus was not just any birth of any child in the ancient near east, but the birth of a God. The Son of God.
Never forget that when you missionaries are out there missing your family who is home eating rice pudding, drinking egg nog and opening presents under the tree. Don’t forget that YOU.
YOU are the reason Christmas continues to exist.
Thanks for keeping Christmas alive. He is the Gift. The greatest gift. Keep on giving that gift.
Merry Christmas Elders and Sisters.