Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas

Last December I spent a Sunday morning wandering through a beautiful art gallery. It is not my usual Sunday morning activity, but as I wandered through this famous, usually packed space the quiet, and emptiness spoke to me. I had a spiritual experience as I came upon a painting of the Christ child, being looked upon and adored by his mother.

I think I've seen every nativity ever made before (and half of them are in our living room), however this particular representation of a mother adoring her child, and her savior spoke to me in a way none other had before. It showed a mother overjoyed at having a child, and in awe of who her child was, and what he would do.

Before I'd never really thought at the joy Mary must have felt when she became a mother. Everyone mentions how intimidating, hard, or overwhelming it would be to realize you are the mother of Christ. However, there must also have been great joy. She had our Heavenly Father on her side, like no other mother before or since. She had a knowledge of what was to come. She knew that there was great reason to rejoice in the birth of this son, because of who he was, and what he would do for the world.
About the hope he would bring to it.

I've been thinking a lot about hope the past weeks. About what it really means and about the role it plays in my own life. I think President Uchtdorf spoke of hope best when he spoke in General Conference a few years back:

"Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness"

"Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of the faith in our Savior."

"(Hope) is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance."

"There may be times when we must make a courageous decision to hope even when everything around us contradicts this hope... Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us."

And I think that this hope, bringing happiness and rejoicing, is really what Christmas is all about.


Shane said...

Great post that really added to my Christmas celebration. It is great having you home with us.

Lauren said...

I do not know why I am just reading this now for the first time. But I absolutely love it.