Wishing you all a belated but very Merry Christmas as we Light the World!

My apologies for being late, but as I’m sure you can all understand, the holidays are always a very busy time of year for me. And I’m sure they’re busy for you too!

For awhile now I’ve been trying to take part in the “Light The World” movement that’s been happening every year around Christmas hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This year, I did the same, but attempted to step it up a notch.

Every year, they have prompts every day leading up to Christmas for how we can ‘Light the World’ with kindness and love. So I made it my goal to complete all 25 items. And… I got a little over half way there? I actually ended up doing the ones from 2020 somehow. But it was still 25 (26) suggestions, so I think it still counts?

Light The WorldGiven all we do during the holidays though, I think that perhaps I was overreaching by aiming to do ALL 25. That said, I really enjoyed making the effort to do what I could. Some of them certainly pushed me outside of my comfort zone. And I might have done the bare minimum with some of them (like caroling… I caroled to my mother… because I’m embarrassed to sing, but that counts, right??). But even still…

Even though I couldn’t get all of them done, I still feel blessed for having done what I could. I don’t know about you, but for me, the love language in which I express love most strongly tends to be via physical gifts. I think it stems from the thought process I have in which my money is my hard work, but in a physical format. And thus, I find that giving my ‘hard work’, which takes a lot of my time which I find to be very valuable, is how I can best express my love for others. (Perhaps that’s why I find cleaning for others to ALSO be a way in which I give love, haha).

That said, I don’t express my love in that way a lot of the time. I feel like I embarrass people when I do that, so I refrain, save for birthdays and Christmas time. (And yes, that means I go all out on those occasions). But thus, the result is doing anything for anyone without any excuse often feels a bit.. Awkward for me, I suppose? But because of these prompts, I did have to stop and put my feelings of awkwardness aside in order to accomplish these challenges. And the challenges… for the most part, they weren’t really for me. They were often for someone else. They were gifts of love. And I felt blessed to give them, growing as I did so. How? By ignoring the ‘social norms’ that say we should ignore one another and others’ struggles. And instead, just do nice things out of nowhere.

Kindness, in reality this “Light the World” campaign proves, needs no prompt.

Frankly, it humbled me to do these challenges. And I want to continue to do them and finish all 25, by making the time to do those that I missed come 2022. Who says we need to wait for Christmas anyway?

The final prompt I did was one which asked me to read John 8:12 and share how Jesus brings Light into my life. In the verse, we read:

John 8:12 Light the WorldMy initial thoughts were as follows:

“He is my Light and without Jesus Christ I’d be lost. I wouldn’t know life’s purpose and I would despair at the separation of family. But knowing Christ’s Plan of Happiness and Salvation brings me joy. It brings me peace. And it humbles me, knowing He descended below all to give the entire human family the ability to be together again and in our Heavenly Father’s presence. Does God love us? Absolutely! And I know because He sent His only Begotten Son to Earth to be the Light. The Light of the world.”

Light The World as Jesus DoesBut I wish to add to this now, with a brief story about a time in my life when I worked in a highly urban area. Every day, I took the bus to and from work and every day I’d go out to buy a salad somewhere. Often, I’d pass a homeless woman on the street outside of a Panera. My budget was tight and the county urged people not to give the homeless money. But there were times when I worked late and saw her sleeping there, no one around to give her anything.

And so, one winter day when I left Panera, instead of saying no to the free bread that came with my meal, I took it outside with me and handed it to her. Her eyes lit up looking up at me and she thanked me profusely. In that moment, the impression and feeling of what I can only imagine to be a small speck of how much Christ must love this woman overcame me.

I continued to do this whenever I saw her and the feeling grew in my heart, especially when I had the chance to stop and talk to her. And at some point, I realized that I didn’t know if I was doing it for her or for myself after a while…

There is no excuse not to be kind.

I think the Light of Christ, the one we are asked to “Light the World” with during this time of year, in actuality stems from this kind of love that He wishes for us to have for one another. That Light IS Love. His Love. My readers, we may not be perfect now. We’ll never be perfect in this life. But God doesn’t abandon us because of our shortcomings. In fact, like the perfect parent that He is, He lovingly corrects and guides us to becoming better people. And yes, though His son, we can be healed. Christ can heal even the most broken among us, if we just have the desire to be healed.

I love Jesus Christ. I love my Heavenly Father. And I love Christmas. I love this time of year and I love thinking of what a glorious day it must have been on the day Christ came into the world. Not as a man. Not even as a little boy, but as a baby. In the song “Mary, Did You Know?” singers ask Mary if she knew all that Christ would do. I’m sure she had at least some inkling of it. To hold that baby, your baby, knowing what He would go through, I can’t imagine it. But I also can’t imagine the joy of knowing what the little baby in her arms meant to her and the world. The little baby Jesus meant salvation. He meant forgiveness and second chances. He meant forever families were possible. His very existence meant that everlasting joy could be had.

"The Christ Child"
A Touching Video Called “The Christ Child”

So in the spirit of Christmas, I wish you “every joy” to be had. Even if you’re alone this holiday season on the mortal plane, God will NEVER leave you without guidance and angels to support you. All we must do is try to follow Him and do our best. Truly do our best. And then, if we do, I know we can find him. We can find that Light.

Merry Christmas everyone. May our Heavenly Father in Heaven bless you, and may you feel the love of Jesus Christ every day of your life.

Till 2022, all my love,