Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."
Merry Christmas everyone!! I cannot believe that this year is
coming to an end and a new one is about to begin. It seems like just yesterday that
my friend Ashley and I were celebrating New Years Eve dancing till almost dawn–
and yet an entire year has passed.
Christmas in Korea is literally foreign to me. For the first
time in my life I am living somewhere where Christmas is not all consuming.
Throughout my childhood I have been given some truly fantastic Christmases, (I'd
like to add a very large thank you to my parents here for being so wonderful
and creating a truly festive atmosphere in our home), the Christmas spirit has
always been very strong in my life. As a missionary and being away from my
family, especially in a country that is not predominately Christian, I have
realized how much I adore the Christmas season. And I am missing it right now.
I think the things that I miss the most are how it fosters a sense of
togetherness, the way it opens opportunities for us to reflect on and remember
the reason we are celebrating. I also miss the constant symbolism of the birth of
our Savior Jesus Christ.
Not spending the season in my “traditional” way has helped me
think a little more about the true meaning of Christmas. Being a missionary has
helped me recognize that it is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas. While
whining a little bit (okay maybe a bit more than a little bit), to my companion
about how this Christmas just wasn't going to be the same without what I
believed was the way to spend the
holidays; she said something that made me pause and reassess how I viewed the
days ahead. She said "For missionaries it's Christmas every day." Of
course she is so right. Christmas is meant to celebrate the fact that Christ
came into the world for us, that He loved us enough to be born in such lowly
conditions, then live as a mortal man, and ultimately, and literally, lay down
his own life for our salvation. That is why I am in Korea, to share this “Good
News”. As a missionary I strive to remember this and to teach it every day, not
just through my words, but through my actions too. So though my Christmas
season might not be what I am used to (and if I am being honest, what I long
for), I know it has the potential to be incredible. I know that as we all
strive to remember Christ this Christmas we can make this year the best
Christmas we've ever had. I add my testimony to others that are shared
this Christmas–"Glory to God", for I know Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God on this
earth, that he was born of a righteous virgin, and mortal woman, that he obeyed
His fathers will and laid down His life for all mankind, and that through His
atonement and resurrection I will be made whole and can live with my Father in
Heaven again. I bear record of this through my testimony of the restored gospel
of Jesus Christ, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.