It's Christmas time once more! Now that we've had Thanksgiving, the anticipation increases for my favorite holiday of the year – Christmas! What can I say? There's the family and friends, the food, the general holiday cheer, and the lights that go up everywhere turning our communities into a real work of art at night. What's not to love?
Speaking of lighting things up, this Saturday the Church will begin the third year of its Light the World campaign. The Church intrigued me when it started this program two years ago. Then last year they took the sharing theme up a notch. This time around, I’m quite impressed with what they've done. They've really taken things up a notch, or two, or three! And that's pretty incredible because it has even started yet!
Perhaps the best part is how easy the Church is making it for everyone to participate. They really made it easy for people to find channels through which they can share their goodness and light the world. As the Master said,
We now have before us the glorious opportunity to light the world yet again
Light your world and community
I love how the Church has broken down the four weeks of December into different focus areas for sharing goodness with others. The Church has made short but powerful videos to introduce each week — perfect for sharing through whatever medium. And the Church has once again provided a calendar offering great ideas for each week.
The first week is dedicated to lighting your world. We can each help someone else in another part of the world by sharing stories on social media, making donations to help a global cause, collecting supplies to help war refugees, or seeking those from other cultures to learn their story. I love the ideas on the calendar related to refugees and increasing our awareness of what’s happening outside our First-World lives.
The second week is dedicated to lighting your community. Suggestions here include performing anonymous service for a neighbor, volunteering at a homeless shelter, donating blood, and cleaning a church building. The calendar lists some additional suggestions. I love how the Church offers some great suggestions but then also leaves space for individuals to follow promptings to pursue a different direction
Light your family and faith
The third week is dedicated to lighting your family. Suggestions here include calling your parents, writing a handwritten note to a family member, learning about a family member and sharing his or her story, and gifting the Savior's picture to a child. I love the additional suggestion in the calendar to tell a family member at the dinner table why he or she is loved. That just seems really creative and insightful at the same time.
And then, continuing with the pattern of increasingly tightening circles of influence, the last week of December (which contains Christmas Day), is dedicated to lighting your faith. Suggestions here include attending a religious service, turning off the smartphone to provide time to reflect, adopting some of the Light the World ideas as New Year's resolutions, and taking time to memorize verses of scripture.
Again, the calendar has the idea I like best — offer a kneeling prayer every morning during the week. There's something about kneeling that transforms prayer. And when you combine that with offering only thanks (which I talked about last week during the program), the humility from the kneeling magnifies the gratitude. It's a great way to start the day.
Share your light
The Church has really outdone itself once more with their Light the World campaign for this year. We all have so much goodness to give that can bring light into the lives of others. We don't have that goodness so we can keep it to ourselves. Like light, goodness isn’t meant to be hidden or hoarded but shared and savored. In fact, the only way truly to savor goodness is to share it. And the Church is making it very easy for us to do just that.
And everyone can do that. We should never discount the goodness we have because it lacks some character we see in someone else's goodness. We have the goodness we have because someone needs to receive it from us. Light is always welcome, no matter how dim it may be.
Shining the light we have within us embodies the true spirit of the Christmas season. It embraces the essence of following the Savior Jesus Christ. Whether or not you decide to participate in the Church’s Light the World effort, don't hide the light you have. Let the goodness God has placed within you shine forth. When you do, you'll have more joy in your 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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