Thursday, December 22, 2011

Countdown to Christmas: Day Three

The Message Part 1:
The name "Jesus" was specified by the angel Gabriel. It means Savior. His other names are no less descriptive. Christ means annointed one. Messiah means deliverer. Immanuel means God with us.

The scriptures teach "there is no other name given, whereby salvation can come to the children of men." Like Nephi, we can barely comprehend the condescension of God. This helpless baby nestled in the straw was Jehovah, the God of Israel, the Great I Am, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the Bright and Morning Star....and he became like us, that we might become like him.

Did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus must be born in Bethlehem, the house of bread? How appropriate that the “Bread of Life” would begin his life in the city named the house of bread. How did they feel about the humble place of his birth? Would they have chosen a stable, a manger? What did Jesus mean to teach us by coming in this way?

Choose Your Favorite:
O Little Town of Bethlehem (Hymns p. 208)
Once in Royal David's City (Hymns p. 205)

The Message Part 2:
It was angels who sang the first Christmas Carol on that first Christmas night. Can you imagine a Christmas Celebration without the joyous music of Christmas? Perhaps it was their glorious song that inspired all other carols.

Who were the angels who filled that heavenly choir? Departed spirits and spirits yet unborn who recognized this pivotal moment in history, who understood that the future of the world, and their own destiny, hung in the balance of the sacred mission which was about to begin.

You and I no doubt looked on as the story began to unfold. In fact who knows but what we joined our voices in that glorious chorus..." Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth Peace, Good Will Toward Men."

Choose Your Favorite:
Angels We Have Heard on High (Hymns p. 203)
Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Hymns p. 209)
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (Hymns p. 207)

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