Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year, and I’m far from alone in that sentiment. Part of the attraction assuredly is the increase in good thoughts and good deeds everywhere around us. While there are exceptions as I discovered this weekend among the shopping crowds, there are also bright spots of goodness that convey the true spirit of the season.
In fact, if we look for them, I believe we will see there are more bright spots around us than the alternative.
This holiday season the Church has been promoting a new effort to celebrate the Christ in Christmas. If you have not heard of it, then you need to get up to speed. Participating in that effort can help you to see there really are more bright spots of goodness around us than the alternative. Very appropriately, it’s called Light the World.
In that respect, Light the World is like my traditional Sermon on the Mount study. Each day during the last 40 days of the year, I study a pre-selected number of verses from the Sermon on the Mount and then choose how I’ll apply those verses that day. It can be large or small, but it must be completed that day. I’ve learned how real the gospel is because I’m living it.
Making the gospel more real has helped me to love it more. I can’t predict the future, but I can have faith that God is good and will bless me abundantly. That goodness is easier both to see and to feel when we actively participate in spreading that love to others.
People don’t light candles to hide them but rather to provide light so all may see (Matthew 5:15). In like manner, we should freely bring goodness into the world so that others can see and feel the love of God in their lives. When we do, we can’t help but love our lives more.
The Church has provided a tremendous help with their Light the World calendar. Each day has suggestions of ways to spread goodness and thereby light the world. But we can also adopt our own ideas for action. I know one LDS single who used Facebook to organize an effort to help a needy family this Christmas season. It started with just herself, but as others slowly added their efforts, the entire contribution became much, much larger. If you were to ask this single adult how she feels about her effort, I’m sure she would tell you how much she loves not only it but also the family she decided to help.
I haven’t organized any such effort, but I have felt love in my heart grow as I have taken daily action in response to my Sermon on the Mount study. Most of my actions have been small in nature, but the added light I feel inside of me has been substantial. How can any honest soul not love that?
That seems to be at least some of the intention behind Light the World, and I love it. We make the gospel more real by actually living it. And anyone who has read my posts since 2014 knows I’m all about real.
Of course, that reality doesn’t have to stop with the coming of Christmas Day, nor should it. We can feel God’s love every day by continuing to share that love with others every day. The Church’s Light the World calendar is a great aid during the 25 days leading to Christmas, but what’s to stop any of us from making our own calendar for every day of December? What’s to stop us from doing the same for any other month of the year? Only ourselves.
It’s only by living true principles that we come to feel their reality in our lives. It’s only by giving love to others that we can feel the full extent of love in our own lives. We can choose for ourselves what light we will give to others. And when we live true to that conviction to bring goodness into the world every day, we will have more joy in our journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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