The Christmas season comes with so many activities, gifts, expenses, and expectations that it can be difficult to set aside time to focus on what matters most. This week, let us consider how we can set aside some time to focus on the Savior and what He really wants for us this season.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and, and myrrh.
1. O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
2. For Christ is born of Mary,
And, gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
3. How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav’n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
Watch Together: “The Little Dummer Boy” – This song is about a little boy who wants to bring a gift to baby Jesus.
Answer: Playing his drum.
Ask: How does the boy play?
Answer: He plays his best for Him.
Scriptures: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
When we share our talents, it glorifies our Father in Heaven. Just like our earthly parents, He is proud of us (well pleased) when we give our very best.
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” – Matthew 25:40
Explain: It doesn’t matter what our talents are, or what our interests are. It only matters that we give the Lord our very best.
Quote: President Russell M. Nelson said, “The Lord loves effort, because effort brings rewards that can’t come without it.”
When we give our very best for Him, He makes it something even better. He can sanctify, or make holy, our very best efforts.
Ask: How can you give your very best to Him this Christmas? You could set a goal to try your hardest to be kind to everyone around you for the whole day. Or you could memorize a scripture that helps you remember Him. You could think of someone in need and offer them love the way Jesus would.
Testify: Jesus Christ never held back in His gifts to us. When we strive for excellence, seeking to do, and be, and give our very best, it brings us closer to Him.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Watch and Sing Along: “What Shall We Give?” (found below)
Thought: What does Jesus truly want from us? This video gives us some ideas.
Optional Story: Check out this social science experiment where religious students were faced with a choice to help someone in need, or carry on and get to their needed destination.
Explain: The study found that people in a hurry were less likely to help, but that even the people who had time to spare didn’t all stop.
Discuss: Our lives are all busy and hurried. How can we make serving others a priority, even when other distractions and needs are pressing on us? In what ways can we slow down, or what extras can we eliminate so we have the mental bandwidth and physical energy to help others in need?
When Aaron was teaching Lamoni’s father about the gospel, the king wanted the joy and redemption that Aaron taught him about. He was ready to give a great deal. The king told Aaron, “I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.” (Alma 22:15)
Aaron clarified that if the king had faith and repented, he could have the blessing he desired.
Scripture: This is the prayer the king offered.
“O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.” Alma 22:18
Of all the gifts we could give the Savior this year, what he wants most is for us to give away our sins to know Him.
Ask: Which of our imperfections could we strive to give away this Christmas?
Testify: Jesus Christ’s birth would mean very little if He had not gone on to be our Redeemer. He gave His daily life and sacrificed even unto death that we may have the hope of redemption, and all He asks for us to receive this gift is to repent and come unto Him. I know that repentance will bring us closer to Jesus Christ and be a beautiful gift for our Savior this year.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Song: “In the Bleak Midwinter” – View here.
The final verse of this song asks what we can give to the Son of God.
“What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him, give my heart.”
Consider: At the time Jesus Christ was born, burnt sacrifices were offered in remembrance and similitude of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Jesus explained to the Nephites that this had been done away, and He no longer required of them this kind of sacrifice.
“And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.” (3 Nephi 9:19)
This beloved Christmas song describes what He requires.
“And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 9:20).
Read: Dig into this First Presidency message by President Thomas S. Monson about how we can give our heart this Christmas season, and commit to more fully giving your heart this Christmas.
Easy Saltine Cracker Toffee
Give of yourself this week. Make the treat above (or another one) and share it with someone who needs to be remembered and treasured this Christmas season.
Becca loves audiobooks, cookies, hiking, walking, singing with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, going out with her husband, and raising their ten chickens and five children. She still wants to meet her hero Sheri Dew, see magma and a blue whale in person, and uplift others with her words.