The holiday season has always been a time of reflection and reverence. It is a time of family, a time of love, a time of giving, a time of service. To sum up all these descriptions and many more, it …
The holiday season has always been a time of reflection and reverence. It is a time of family, a time of love, a time of giving, a time of service. To sum up all these descriptions and many more, it is a time of Christ.
This time of the year is also a perfect time to remember the savior of the world and to start anew with a recommitted heart to follow him and to become like him. Doing so will bind our hearts to him and help us set aside our natural, worldly tendencies. Jesus the Christ is the epitome of all good — indeed he is the definition of all good. A thoughtful examination of his character may help us find some opportunity to purify our own discipleship this holiday season.
Jesus Christ is a healer. It is not necessary for me to rehearse here the myriad of examples of Christ healing those afflicted with various maladies. Rather, I would ask you to pause. Are there those around you who are in need of your healing touch? Is there a relationship that a small amount of humility on your part or mine could be healed? Is there the burden of sadness or depression that could be lifted by a simple visit? Could we be the balm of Gilead in the hands of the master healer?
Jesus Christ serves. There is perhaps no more humble display of service displayed by the redeemer of the world than the washing of his disciples’ feet. In New Testament times, people wore open sandals and walked on mostly dirt roads that accumulated all manner of filth from animal and person. Beyond this, they had limited access to water for bathing. Their feet became very dirty, and washing another person’s feet was considered a lowly task. This custom of hospitality was usually performed by the lowest level of servants.
Jesus Christ invites us to similarly reach out in humility to serve; not in a pharisaical way with thought of reward, but with perfect charity without the thought of recognition. Then, as others see our good works, they might glorify our father who is in heaven.
Jesus Christ is patient. One of the things that I love about the savior is his patience with our weakness. Whether it was weeping with his dearest friends in their pain, or lovingly helping a father’s unbelief, he was not hasty but thoughtful and gentle.
Perhaps his patience is most beautifully displayed as we examine our own lives. Retrospectively, we can see his patience with our imperfections. We can recognize him constantly waiting for us to be gathered under his wings. Perhaps with this view of his mercy toward us, we can then turn outward with a little more patience for the offenses and carelessness of others. Perhaps we can give the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps we can do as he has said and, “go and do likewise.”
Jesus Christ saves. The mission of Jesus Christ, and the message of Christmas, is that the Son of God condescended to save us all — not because we loved him, but because he loves us. The message of Christmas, the message of Christ, is that in him is salvation. I testify that Jesus Christ is the son of God, he is wonderful, he is our great counselor, he is the prince of peace.
As we seek to do as he does, we bind ourselves to him. May the spirit and character of Christ be a part of us now, throughout the year, and always.
(Scott Williams is a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)